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Fall had definitely arrived this morning! It was 36 degrees when I woke up and 49 when I got to Schell Osage at around 11:30 a.m.. Except for Phoebes, I did not see a flycatcher all day. The warblers were mostly of the later kind, Myrtle, Palm, Wilson's, Nashville, Black-throated Green, although I did have a Tennessee. Most of the little warbler-like birds in the foliage were kinglets. My "poor man's bubbler" (Eastern Screech-owl tape) worked pretty well, but my success was nothing like that of the folks in Tower Grove Park.

Cormorants and White Pelicans were having a feeding frenzy in the middle of Schell Lake, together with a few Bonaparte's Gulls.  The cormorant invasion has begun big time.

The Evelyn Johnson shore bird marsh is pretty well vegetated, but it did contain an adult White-faced Ibis and a few yellowlegs. There is some nice-looking habitat to the west of it, and in several other places on the refuge, but I guess many shorebirds have moved on.

I ran into Charley Burwick, who said he had about 20 PIne Siskins near a prairie refuge north of Eldorado Springs. I took his word for it that there were no RBNs in the pines by the headquarters.

I went on to Taberville Prairie, where I ran into Don Arney, and we walked around a bit and flushed two Ammodramus-type LBJs.  I'm guessing one with a yellowish rump was a LeConte's and the other, darker bird a Henslow's, but we were unable to reflush either of them.

There is some nice mudflat at Montrose, and I added Least, Pectoral and Stilt Sandpipers there. Also a few Forster's Terns and some more Boneys. Lots of Great Egrets still around.

All in all, it was a beautiful day, although it's a bit sad to note how many familiar summer birds have already left.


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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