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This morning (5/6/06) my Dad, Mom, brother, sister and I birded Eagle Bluffs, CA. What an exciting day it was! We spent from 8:00 to 12:00 birding and had several FOY's and some new species. Overall we had a total of 58 species.

In a field next to a paved road (I believe it was Burr Oak Dr.) prior to reaching Eagle Bluffs, we observed a male (transitional plumage) Lapland Longspur mixed in with some Horned Larks. Isn't this late in the year for them? This was a lifer for several of us! We also had the opportunity to see and hear a Dickcissel from only a few yards away. Lark Sparrows were seen next to a gravel road prior to the entrance to Eagle Bluffs - it was fascinating to observe them as several were displaying (fluffing up and raising their tails almost straight up in the air.)

A total list of species seen is as follows:

BEFORE Eagle Bluffs:
--Lapland Longspur - 1
--Lark Sparrow - 7+
--Dickcissel - 1
--Horned Larks

EAGLE BLUFFS:
--Eastern Kingbird - prevalent
--American Crow
--Turkey Vulture (we got to see these up very closely as they were feeding on an opossum in the road)
--Cliff Swallow - FOY
--Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
--Barn Swallow
--Tree Swallow - all swallow species were prevalent
--Song Sparrow - several
--Savannah Sparrow - several
--White-Crowned Sparrow -1
--Bald Eagle - 2
--Red-Tailed Hawk - 1
--Sora - 15+ these were seen and heard in numerous different pools including the one by the bathroom, in 
            the Sapp Tract, and in the channel by the first one way loop (this bird was a lifer for many of us.)
--Virginia Rail - 1 in the pool below the restroom; again another lifer
--Northern Shoveler
--Blue-Winged Teal
--Mallard
--Ring-Necked Duck - 1 
--Wood Ducks and ducklings
--Gadwall
--Pintail - 3
--Snow Goose - 1 Blue Phase (it appeared badly wounded)
--Canada Geese and goslings 
--Pied-Billed Grebe - 1
--Coots
--Trumpeter OR Tundra Swan - flew over with a Canada Goose and all we were able to tell was that it 
                                           was NOT a Mute, but we were unable to identify it.
--Greater Yellowlegs
--Lesser Yellowlegs
--Killdeer
--Spotted Sandpiper - several
--Solitary Sandpiper - several; FOY
--Least Sandpiper - 10+; FOY
--Wilson's Phalarope - 15+ in pool 15; FOY
--Forster's Tern - 4 in pool 15; FOY
--Double Crested Cormorants - 2 
--Great Blue Heron
--Belted Kingfisher
--Common Yellowthroat - 2 FOY
--Yellow-Rumped Warbler - 5
--Northern Waterthrush - 3
--Orchard Oriole - 2 mature males, 2 females, one first year male; FOY and lifer
--Baltimore Oriole - several
--American Goldfinch
--Red-Headed Woodpecker - 3
--Pileated Woodpecker - 1 back by Perche Creek
--Indigo Bunting
--Rose-Breasted Grosbeak - 1
--Common Grackle
--Red-Winged Blackbird
--Eastern Pheobe
--Mourning Dove
--Eastern Bluebird
--Blue Jay
--Cardinal

At one point we saw a bird laying in the road, after looking at it with binoculars we realized it was not one bird, but two. We slowly walked up to the birds and they continued to lay there only moving occasionally. Once reaching them we could see that they were two female Orchard Orioles that were fighting. They each had a hold of the others' feathers underneath their tails. We observed them for a bit while standing right next to them before they finally realized we were there, let go of each other and flew away. Do we ever wish we had had our camera! It was fascinating to see this! Has anyone else observed this type of behavior before in female birds?

It is a beautiful day for birding and I hope those of you who went out today were able to have an enjoyable time!

Sarah Pelc
Columbia, MO




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