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Yesterday, while out birding the Saint Joseph oxbow lakes area, I observed a 
Swainson's Hawk "hawking" prey items which were being disturbed by a farmer 
disking a field. 

There were only a few ducks on Lake Contrary, BWTE, Gadwall and Mallard. Nine 
American White Pelicans were seen dozing on the lake. There were a couple of 
Double-crested Cormorants there also. Only one Great Egret was present.
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Today I thought I would try a little "spot and spit.....em split" (as in ASM 
Spring Meeting)!  Beginning on Ridgeline Road going south off of Highway 36 
(about 1.5 miles east of Stewartsville, I had a Willet (FOY) in a small pond on 
the east side of the road! Also in the pond was one Greater Yellowlegs. About 
a mile further south along Ridgeline Road two Great Horned Owls gave up their 
perches and flew off away from the road. No Bobolinks yet, but I managed to 
get two FOY Upland Sandpipers which flew over the road and landed in an adjacent 
hay field. I then heard a very close Common Yellowthroat (FOY). 

Then, I "split" for Cameron and Wallace SP. Lots of Red-headed Woodpeckers, 
Chipping Sparrows, one Eastern Kingbird, some Savannah Sparrows, one Harris's 
Sparrow and a FOY Eastern Wood-Pewee.

Time to "split" again and head for Grindstone Reservoir! Along the gravel 
road to the reservoir I had Loggerhead Shrike, some more BWTE in a small pond and 
some Lesser Yellowlegs. Also got one Vesper Sparrow. At the reservoir itself 
I got some cormorants and a superb look at an Osprey. A Spotted Sandpiper 
careened out over the water from where it had been feeding along the rocky 
shoreline. Both Eastern and Western Meadowlarks were in the area.

Split for home and added a couple of White-throated Sparrows in our backyard 
for a day count of around 53 species.

Nice day to be out even if it was rather blustery!

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, Buchanan County
gckinglet AT wmconnect.com
 

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