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Nine of us headed down to the frost covered bottoms of the Meramec River on Saturday morning to bird the area around the spring fed lake below the cave entrance. It was a cool but beautiful morning and the birding was very good with some highlights being a Marsh Wren, many Yellow rumped Warblers and Ruby crowned Kinglets and a good variety of sparrows including White crowned, White throated, Swamp and Fox, but the highlight of the day was coming across a Box Elder tree with a swarm of adult and some nymph Box elder bugs, thousands were on the ground, but tens of thousands were gathered in mass from the base high up into the tree. The insects were all on the sunny side of the tree and ran up for a good 15 feet, one of those natural phenomenon you seldom see.

Mike Doyen
Rolla, MO


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