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We started at Riverlands where the number of Red-breasted Mergansers had sharply increased.  The ducks were beautiful in the sunlight.  Dick Coles identified a few Common Goldeneye, a bird I hadn't seen for two or three weeks.  There were a few lingering Canvasbacks, plenty of Ruddys, Green-winged Teal, Scaup, Gadwall, Shovelers, Mallards, Ring-necked, a few Hooded Mergansers, Wood Ducks. Dick Coles found Blue-winged Teal in Two Pecan pond, my FOY.  There were a lot of DC Cormorants in evidence and several Pied-billed Grebes.  Eastern Meadowlarks were heard and seen in several locations.  Some Am White Pelicans were in Ellis Bay and flight after flight passed overhead with some Snow Goose flights.
   
  On the way to Lincoln Shields we saw several Tree Swallows as we crossed over the causeway.  There were Ring-billed and two or three Herring Gulls sitting on logs in the pool.  There had been plenty of gulls on the concrete apron of the locks.
   
  One of the Bald Eagles was sitting on the nest.  We did not see snipe or turkeys (brown or white).  We looked for but did not find Connie's Common Loon from the evening before, American Golden Plover or Purple Martins.
   
  In St Charles County we saw Cardinals, Song Sparrows, Yellow-rumped Warblers, DE Juncos, House Finches, American Tree Sparrows and White-crowns.  Margie Richardson found the well-camouflaged Eurasian Collared Doves in a bare tree in front of the house at Payne Rd and Hwy 94.
   
  Finally after several previous frustrating Thursday group and single visits to Church and Seeburger, we hit the jackpot and  saw at least 50 male and female Great-tailed Grackles, a sizable flock of Rusty Blackbirds and a few Brewers with Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Common Grackles, and the ever-present starlings, many mixing with the patient Angus cattle.
   
  Not a bad day in spite of strong winds.
   
  Jackie Chain
  St Louis County
   
   

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