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Four of us went to Grand Pass CA this morning.  Lots of water there (I was
wishing it was shorebird season), but not too many birds.  Several large
flocks of Snow Geese in the air; and mallards, pintails, gadwall, shoveler,
and Canadas here and there.  Did have a singing Western Meadowlark, American
Tree and WC sparrows.  Was hoping for Harris Sparrow, pheasant, Rough-legged
Hawk but was not to be.  Caroline wrens and Eastern Bluebirds are in great
color.

Took a spin through Van Meter state park.  Birds pretty quiet.  Got a
FABULOUS car wash at Slater, but too long of a story for here!  On to
Fayette, to check the sewage treatment cells - I have never failed to see a
variety of diver ducks there ... until today.  It was empty except for
Killdeer and Canadas.  On to the UMC Dairy farms and lakes on old highway 40
near Midway.  Among the surprises were a LARGE (500+) mixed flock of
Great-tailed Grackles, Common Grackles, Brown-headed Cowbirds, RW
Blackbirds, and Starlings.  Tried to pull something odd out of the flock,
but couldn't.  The colors on every bird (even the starlings) were
spectacular in the declining sun.
Jean Leonatti
Boone County, Columbia, MO
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