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Yesterday, since we had President's day off, Mr. Niles and I took 9 students out for the Cornell bird count.  Chris Brown, a former student, also joined us.  Although we covered a significant amount of territory, the birds seemed to be sparse and in pockets.  A lot of "birdless" areas during this overcast day.  We had a total of ~42 species.  Although many of the birds were not that uncommon, we were able to provide some "spectacular" looks through the scopes and the students enjoyed a steady supply of "lifers" for them.  

Some of the morning birds from Kearney HS to Watkin's mill SP were:

G.White-fronted Geese (14) -farm pond
Wood Duck (4)
C. Goldeneye
Ruddy Duck (3) - Excelsior Springs lagoons
Sharp-shinned hawk
Red-shouldered hawk (1 - back cove at Watkin's)
Carolina wren
N. Mockingbird

Others seen at or around Smithville Lake:

Bufflehead (7)
Common Goldeneye (~75)
Hooded Merganser (20)
Common Merganser (155) - they are north of the "W" bridge         that is EAST of Paradise.  They have been there for 
        about a week.
Bald Eagle (2)
Am. Coot (2)
Double-crested Cormorant (1)
Ring-billed gulls (numerous)
Herring Gull (2)
Am. Tree Sparrows (34)
American Pipits (6) - near shoreline at Crow's Creek

All in all it was a very enjoyable day...and nice to take an early spring break from the classroom and taxidermy.

Terry L. Miller
Kearney HS
Clay Co., MO

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