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Dear Mentor Birders,

Michelle and I went out to Eagle Bluffs CA (McBaine, Boone County) this 
late afternoon (6:00 to 7:45ish), not really expecting to See Anything, but 
wanted to give it a Look anyway... As we expected, we saw almost Zero 
Shorebirds, other than GB Herons and Great Egrets, that is until we got 
back to Pool 15 (around 6:30)... There, towards the end of the Pool where 
there are some Very Small "Islands" with Soil/Mud showing, were several 12 
to 15 Shorebirds that we Scoped (several Least, a Solitary, a few Spotted - 
I Think, maybe a Stilt, and a Lesser Yellow-Legs) and then there was a 
Large (Several Inches Taller than the Yellow-Legs) Sandpiper like Bird with 
Dark Greyish Legs!!! I Searched through my Kaufman Guide while I was there 
and later my National Geographic Guide and both Shorebird Guides (Paulson & 
O'Brien), and the Only thing that I found that Looked Like it was a Greater 
Yellow-Legs, but the Bird that I Saw had Dark Greyish Legs, so it Must have 
been a Winter Plumage Willet (Western, I'm Assuming due to Size...???)!!! 
The Bird was 14" to 15" Tall (Compared to the Lesser Yellow-Legs), Plain 
Grey Above and White Below, with a Thick Dark Bill and Dark Greyish Legs... 
We watched it for Several (7-10) Minutes, until Michelle Spotted a Dark 
Brown Shorebird that was off to itself... 

We Scoped it and it had a Very Long Bill (Dowitcher...???), but then the 
Stripes on it's Head and Back just Jumped out at us (Not a 
Dowitcher...???), so again to the Guide... Having remembered that a Common 
Snipe had been seen by Kathleen Anderson a week or so ago, I checked there 
first and Bingo, it had to be a Snipe (Unfortunately, the Kaufman Guide 
Only has the Wilson's Snipe Listed, so I had to wait until I got Home to 
Verify...)!!! So, we watched it for a while as well, I checked back on the 
Willet from time to time until it and All the other Shorebirds flew away, 
except for the Snipe... We continued to watch it until close to 7:10 when 
we decided to head back out... Then as we were passing by Pool 9 on to Pool 
7, I saw a few Ducks and a couple of Shorebirds, so I thought that I would 
take a Look... There were two Mallards in the water near the edge of the 
Shore, but there were also Three More Common Snipes next to the 
Vegetation!!! Unfortunately it was getting too dark to see much else, so I 
Showed the Snipes to Michelle and we then packed-up our gear and headed 
home...

A Wonderful End to a Long and Tiring Day!!! Please let me know if Anyone 
else Sees the Willet again, I would Love to Have someone else's 
Confirmation!!! Thank You and Good Luck!!! Please Take Care.

Yours,
Jonathan B. & Michelle Pons  
Columbia, Boone County

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