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The southern end of Bean Lake (Platte County, MO) was loaded down with birds this evening. I only had about 45 min. of light, but was able to pick out one winter-plumaged RED KNOT, amongst some dowitchers, pec's, and other peeps. A lone AMERICAN AVOCET preened nearby and three PLEGADIS IBIS, sp. landed a few feet away. These birds were visible from River Rd. (same place that produced all the goodies last year). There is a large mudflat and excellent wader habitat. Looking closely into the vegetation, I could see many more shorebirds and ducks milling about.
10 species of waterfowl were observed in short order, while a Sedge Wren scolded me from the roadside brush. While thrilled to finally see a Red Knot in Missouri, one of the most interesting aspects of my visit to this locale was watching three GREATER YELLOWLEGS feeding like Skimmers!! They were racing about the shallow water, hunched over, with their lower mandibles beneath the water's surface. I had never seen this behavior before.

I also birded Little Bean Marsh Natural Area from 2pm-5:30pm. VERY birdy. The highlight was THREE SPOTTED TOWHEES (2 male,1 female). All three were observed by Kyle Driggers and myself near the blind at the end of the right fork of the paved trail. 8 species of sparrows (No Nelson's), Marsh and Sedge Wrens, Soras, 15+ Yellow-Rumped Warblers, 15+ Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, 10+ Golden-Crowned Kinglets, 5 Orange-Crowned Warblers, 1 Blue-Headed Vireo and a couple of singing Common Yellowthroats were also identified through fairly intense coverage of the area. Resident activity was very high, as I even heard an Eastern Screech Owl vocalizing in broad daylight. This is one of those wonderfully special areas that probably doesn't get birded enough. Lots of fun!!
Good Fall Birding!
Doug Willis
Kansas City, MO
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