* Missouri
* Statewide
* 31 Oct, 2004
* MOST0410.31

- Species Mentioned

Surf Scoter
Red-throated Loon
Pacific Loon
Red-necked Grebe
Western Grebe
American Avocet
Spotted Towhee
Great-tailed Grackle

Coverage:  Missouri Statewide
Compiler and Transcriber:  Kristi Mayo
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Compiled 31 Oct, 2004

This is the Sunday, October 31, 2004 Missouri Bird Alert, a statewide
service of the Audubon Society of Missouri, serving the birding
community of Missouri since 1901.  The bird alert is compiled from
reports submitted by ASM members and other birders throughout the state.

A TROPICAL/COUCH’S KINGBIRD, first sighted on October 30, was relocated
today at Sunshine Lake (Ray Co.). The bird was seen at the location
described on Saturday (see directions below) but was also ranging
further up and down and away from the road. It was perching on the
power lines, in tall cottonwood trees, and in various smaller trees.
This would represent a first state record (for either Tropical or
Couch’s Kingbird). Observers should carefully document this individual.
Descriptions of vocalizations would be particularly helpful in
identifying the kingbird.

Directions to Sunshine Lake (and the kingbird location): (From “A Guide
to Birding in Missouri”, 2001) “From the intersection of MO 210 and
Rte. N, go east on MO 210 for another 6.8 miles to Rte. T. This
intersection is just past the town of Orrick. Here MO 210 turns north
and Rte. T veers to the right toward the town of Flemming. On Rte. T go
about 4.5 miles to the town of Camden. In Camden take a right turn onto
Missouri St. and go down the hill toward the railroad tracks (you will
jog left around a brush pile before turning back right to cross the
railroad tracks). From this point the roads are all gravel. Cross the
railroad tracks and go 0.4 mile, then veer right onto Farm Road 10.
Continue south for 1.5 miles to Farm Road 13, turn left (east) and go
two miles to the south end of Sunshine Lake.” After you see the
southwest end of Sunshine Lake on your left, the road will turn left
and then back right again. At this last jog in the road, there is a
levee with a few purple posts and a chain. The kingbird was seen
consistently on the utility wires and in the brush pile on the levee.
(In Missouri DeLorme Atlas, page 28, G1.)

Meanwhile, a good variety of unusual water birds are being seen across
the state.

An adult female SURF SCOTER was observed by Doug Willis and Kristi Mayo
on Sunday, October 31 at Long Branch Lake (Macon Co.). This bird was
swimming close to the east end of the dam with a flock of Gadwall and,
later, American Coots.

Also present at Long Branch Lake was one male SPOTTED TOWHEE, observed
by Doug Willis. The bird was in the stand of cedars below the dam,
moving with a small flock of sparrows.

Thomas Hill Reservoir (Macon/Randolph Co.) served up a few rarities on
Sunday. Doug Willis and Kristi Mayo located one RED-THROATED LOON
feeding with a single Common Loon. It was last seen headed north along
the lake toward the Hwy T causeway. It was not relocated.

Also at Thomas Hill on Sunday, one WESTERN GREBE north of the Hwy T
causeway, associating with a large mixed flock of ducks.

At Smithville Lake, Joe Eades located one PACIFIC LOON on Sunday
morning. Also present on the lake was one RED-NECKED GREBE. This bird
was relocated and last seen at about 5 p.m. with a large mixed flock of
ducks. Eades also saw a remarkable flock of 50 AMERICAN AVOCETS land in
the center of the lake. These birds were also relocated at sunset and
were last seen in the center of the lake mingling with the raft of
ducks. All three species were on the main body of the lake near the dam.

In St. Louis County, Tom Bormann and Connie Alwood observed at least 15
GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES on Saturday, October 30 at the horse barn on
Missouri Bottom Road, just north of Interstate 370. There were at least
four males.

Information regarding membership in the Audubon Society of Missouri may
be obtained from Bonnie Heidy, Membership Chair, at 573-442-2191, Joyce
Bathke, Treasurer, at 573-445-5758, or at the Audubon Society of
Missouri webpage:

Kristi Mayo
Missouri RBA compiler
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