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I have been out and about recently but just have not have time to post concerning the birds I have been seeing in the various areas around Saint Joseph.
   
  A couple mornings recently I have walked the Saint Joseph River Walk (northern Saint Joseph near the casino). I was attempting to get the rather elusive (and rare for northwestern Missouri) Pileated Woodpecker. This bird continues to elude me here around Saint Joseph, but I will get it one of these days.
   
  Walking the paved path along the river here I have seen Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser floating down the river amid the numerous ice floes which are on the river now. Bald Eagles have been cruising the river and perching in riverside trees. There is a Winter Wren which hangs out in the root wads and vegetation along the banks of a little stream which runs into the river here (near the foot bridge on the path). I have seen the Downy, Hairy, Red-headed, Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers but have not seen the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker recently.
   
  A recent find was a female Eastern Towhee hanging out with the numbers sparrows which frequent the weedy, overgrown areas along the path (American Tree, Song, White-throated, Fox Sparrow and the Dark-eyed Juncos).
   
  I have not been seeing any Eastern Bluebirds here. I am wondering if perhaps the cold and snow might have taken their toll and many of these birds have not survived! This would be somewhat surprising though, since I have been getting the Carolina Wrens.
   
  The areas around Lake Contrary have been holding a lot of Harris's Sparrows. Yesterday I saw around a dozen of them! Along the partially uncovered gravel roads, Horned Larks were gathering and in their midst were several Lapland Longspurs (but no Snow Buntings, darn!).
   
  I still need to get a pheasant and a quail for my 2007 year list! Go figure!


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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