Print

Print


Birds of note:
Merlin
Am Kestrel
LeConte's Sparrow
Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow
Black-crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Meadowlark
Horned Lark
Wilson's Snipe
Dunlin
Gadwall
Am White Pelicans
 
With light rain falling and more threatening, we headed for Columbia Bottom on a sparrow hunt.
Columbia Bottom is in St Louis County off Riverview north of I-270 just west of the Mississippi River.  Birders in one of the cars were rewarded with a long, close look at an adult male Merlin perched on a cornstalk near the road.  We all got together just past the turnoff for the boat launch/fishing area and past the electronic gate at the first small parking lot on the right.  This is where David Becher had seen cooperative LeConte's Sparrows Sunday before last.  
 
We were greeted by a flock of White-crowned Sparrows having a song fest with Am Goldfinch chiming in. As we walked on the grassy verge with the soybean field and looked back toward the road, we were delighted to see a single LeConte's sitting near the top of some tall weeds staring at us.  It stayed for at least ten minutes while I fetched the Sibley's from the car to compare it to other sparrows. By that time, those who stayed had been able to see the finely striped nape and the confirming field marks were complete. An accipiter was flying over the Missouri River. Song sparrows and meadowlarks were in the area.
 
On down the road, we viewed three Red-tailed Hawks circling nearby.  A small mixed flock of sparrows and horned larks merited a stop.  We had good scope looks at Savannahs, Horned Larks, and an adult and  a juvenile Black-crowned Sparrow perched 2 inches apart were satisfying.  An Am Kestrel flushed from a roadside tree.  At the confluence a few gulls were sitting on a sandbar.  The woods were quiet, but Lisa and I were happy to see a spectacular Fox Squirrel bouncing down the trail ahead of us.
 
As we munched our lunches at the boat launch/fishing overlook we added a Great Blue Heron, a Great Egret, an errant Double-crested Cormorant,  a few Am Crows, a Blue Jay and a single swallow.
 
On to Riverlands to refind the Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrows behind Teal Pond.  It was fun watching two playing tag in a red-stemmed bush near the edge of the grasses.  The water in the ditches was deeper than I had seen it in several recent visits, as it was in Ellis Bay.  Dennis Jacobson kicked up one or two Wilson's Snipe.  Am Coots, Canada Geese, Gadwall, Kildeer and Cormorants peppered Teal Pond and Ellis Bay.  Two winter-plumaged Dunlin flew in to join a few Ring-billed and a Bonaparte's on a tiny island in the pond.  A Belted Kingfisher on the way to Lincoln's Shield was the last bird of note on the trip.  It was getting dark by 3pm.
 
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
 


__________________________________________________
###########################################################
*              Audubon Society of Missouri's              *
*                Wild Bird Discussion Forum               *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To subscribe or unsubscribe, click here:                *
* https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1 *
*---------------------------------------------------------*
* To access the list archives, click here:                *
* http://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html          *
*                                                         *
* To access the Audubon Society of Missouri Web           *
* Site:  http://mobirds.org                               *
###########################################################