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I birded Adair and Sullivan Counties today and had a great day. Highlights
were 4 GREATER PRAIRIE CHICKENS displaying in Adair Co, 1 SWAINSON'S HAWK
(listed as rare transient in eastern MO) in eastern Sullivan Co, numerous
HENSLOW'S SPARROWS and 1 AMERICAN BITTERN at Union Ridge CA (Adair and
Sullivan Co.)

Lengthier explanation: Since I received some emails inquiring about the
Prairie Chickens last time, I thought some might be interested to know that
the chickens are still around. They have moved their display ground a few
hundred meters away. I heard them the second time I went (though I wasn't
positive then, it was really faint, and I wasn't sure what they sounded
like), but didn't locate them until today with some advice from a helpful
person at the MDC. I was able to get good looks and saw 4 birds, all males.
It took me close to an hour to find the birds and it was well after sunrise
by the time I did, so some may have left for the morning already.

The Swainson's Hawk was on highway FF about 3-4 miles south of Greencastle.
It sat on a tree branch next to the road and offered decent views for a few
minutes before taking off.

Lots of new stuff at Union Ridge compared to last week. 2 Henslow's Sparrows
offered excellent (!) views not 30 feet from the first parking lot near the
entrance. Lots of waterfowl still, but only a few species, most were
Blue-winged Teal. An immature Bald Eagle was harassing the waterfowl when I
arrived. Saw male and female Northern Harrier doing courtship-style stuff
near the marsh too. Lincoln's Sparrow, Northern Parulas, White-eyed Vireo,
and Black-capped Gnatcatchers were some of the new arrivals.

Still lots of Snipe at the marsh, no other shorebirds. As I was walking back
through some dry grasses near the marsh looking for sparrows, I flushed an
American Bittern that scared me half to death. Took off when I was
practically right next to it! All in all a very good day in NEMO.

Phil Wire
Kirksville, Adair Co.
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