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I went our for a couple of hours this morning to see if I could find anymore Snow Buntings around the Lake Contrary area south of Saint Joseph. I checked out all the flocks of Horned Larks which I came across feeding in the cleared, gravel roads in the area. All I could pick out were Lapland Longspurs here and there in these flocks of Horned Larks. No Snow Buntings. I ended up with a count of 200 Horned Larks and 20 Lapland Longspurs.
   
  While I was checking out one of these mixed flocks, all of a sudden they all took off. I knew that I had not "spooked" them, but then I noticed what had. A Merlin flew into the midst of the airborne flock and attempted to snatch a bird and then it was gone in a flash! It all happened so quickly that I could not determine whether the Merlin had been successful or not. I know they do not miss too often! So he probably ended up with a lark or longspur for lunch.
   
  All in all a pretty good raptor day.
   
  Bald Eagle - one immature
  Northern Harrier - 1 female
  Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
  Cooper's Hawk - 1
  Red-tailed Hawk - 5
  American Kestrel - 2, one male & one female
  Merlin - 1
   
  Did not get any Rough-legged Hawks today!


Larry Lade
Buchanan County
Saint Joseph, MO
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