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Tom,
 
I think the first bird may be a Summer Tanager changing from juvenile to adult plummage.  Juveniles are yellow and adults are red.  The size of the bird and the bill shape and size seems like a tanager to me.  
 
I am not sure about the second and third bird.  Without my field guide I would be guessing.  My experience with Bell's Vireos are that they have been in dense shrubs.  Always a pain to see, but I have not really seen that many Bells.  
 
Steve Griffaw
[log in to unmask]
St Charles MO.

Tom Fuller <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hi MOBIRDers,

Thanks again for the very helpful hints about Katy Trail.

Sue and I spent the whole of Independence Day morning exploring Katy Trail, 
and were well rewarded (as noted below). I have three ID questions, and 
would welcome any and all hints!

1. We think/hope/assume we saw the Painted Bunting. We got perhaps four or 
five looks over half an hour in several locations just West of the slough 
parking lot. The bird we saw had red over most of its head. It had almost 
no blue. Otherwise its color was identical to the pictures of Painted 
Buntings in the various field guides. I have two pictures of this bird (not 
great pix, but enough to make the point) here: 
View 
Katy Trail July 4 
2005 
Is this the Painted Bunting? I can't imagine what else it could be.

2. The second two pix at the above site are a mystery bird. I watched it 
for a while, but could not quite figure it out. It is overall brown with a 
mere hint of olive. (The photos may exaggerate the olive slightly.) It has 
a white eye/bill stripe (like a Chat or vireo, maybe Bell's Vireo), yellow 
at the upper breast under brown at the throat. There is a noticeable dark 
spot at the crook of the wing (again a bit like a Bell's Vireo). The beak 
is like a Vireo, but a bit short. It appeared to be gleaning bugs in a bare 
tree West of the slough parking lot. We saw BG Gnatcatchers, Goldfinches, 
Woodpeckers, and the putative PABU in the same tree at different times.

3. As we returned from the boat ramp, we saw a few sparrow-like birds in 
the gravel road approaching the slough. When first seen through the spotter 
scope, I thought they might be Sprague's pipits, but remembered that the 
pipits should all be a few thousand miles north of Missouri feeding little 
pipits! Also the tails were too dark for pipits. My second guess was Vesper 
Sparrows, but they too shouldn't be around at this time. The birds had two 
sharp white wing bars, strongly mottled/streaked back/sides, a necklace of 
stripes/streaks at the top part of the breast. The overall effect was 
strongly black and white with little brown. Since there were several of 
these birds in the gravel road I suspect they are common, and hopefully 
well-known to Katy Trail birders.

Thanks for hints and helps!

We saw/heard the following yesterday at Katy Trail:
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Carolina Wren
Lark Sparrow (great find!)
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting (we think!)
Flicker
RB Woodpecker
RH Woodpecker
Wood Duck
Goldfinch
Cardinal
Crow
RWBB
Cowbird
Starling
Bluebird
White-eyed Vireo
Pewee
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Thanks



Dr. Thomas H. Fuller, Jr.
Math and Computer Science
Principia College
Elsah, IL 62028
[log in to unmask] 

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