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With heavy rains predicted and in progress at our departure, we set out for Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary on the 9th.  There we saw what looked like at least 60 Greater White-fronted Geese, a few Snow Geese, Am White Pelicans, Canada and Cackling Geese, Gadwall, Mallards, N Shovelers, N Pintails, about 50 GW Teal for the day, 1 Canvasback, Ring-necked, Scaup sp., Bufflehead, Hooded Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Ruddys, 2 Am Black Ducks, Pied-billed Grebes, 2 Horned Grebes, DC Cormorants, Red-tailed Hawk, 3 N Harriers including an adult male, Am Crow, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Am Tree, Eurasian Tree, Song, White-throated, White-Crowned Sparrows, DE Juncos, House Finches.  It rained on and off after our arrival and then stopped, making it a good birding day.
   
  After lunch in the ELF building, we crossed the river to Illinois to look for LT Duck and Scoters, of course without any luck.  On 143 we did have luck, observing the changing of the guard ritual with the nesting Bald Eagles.  We're saying Mom was on the nest, positively drenched from sitting throughout the heavy rains, definitely not a glamor queen.  She stood up in the nest, and he flew into the adjacent tree.  She weighed in, giving him what-for for a minute or three, then flew off.  He flew in a tight circle and landed carefully on the nest, delicately placing his big yellow feet just so and then settling down so his brood patch covered the egg/eggs.  Of course, it could have been the other way around with the sexes.
   
  Dottie, back from the Georgia/Carolina coast, had not seen turkeys for the year so we continued on 143, turned around at the light past the power plant, and checked the 3/143 swampy spot.  Success, we saw several wild Turkeys running along the edge of the scraggly wood accompanied by an albino or leucistic turkey (same size, shape as the others and definitely not a domestic bird).  
   
  Further on past the plant and in the wetland area near the eagle nest, we lucked on a small group of Wilson's Snipe which were one of our day's targets, kildeer, then a pair of Wood Ducks that rounded out our day's duck count and were FOY for some.
   
  Back to Missouri and the West Alton boat launch area near Harbor Point where we dipped on the Blue-winged Teal Charlene had seen earlier, but did see her Mute Swan and 2 Trumpeters, dozens more N Pintails, GW Teal, Ruddys and other ducks and geese.  We also caught up with many Great Blue Herons that had been missing at Riverlands.  We decided to go straight back to Des Peres and skip St Charles County since the clouds were building up again.
   
  Jackie Chain
  St Louis County
   
   
   

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