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I flipped a mental coin this afternoon and decided to save the Eagle  
Bluffs Golden Eagle for another day's searching.  I opted to head  
west to Cooper, Saline and Howard counties in a big loop with stops  
at sites for CACHE and SPARKS.  Yea daylight savings!

The big surprise, bird-wise today was at dinky DeBourgmont Access on  
Hwy.41 just north of I-70 in western Cooper Co.  I looked up to see  
what I almost wrote off as a Turkey Vulture coming from the  
southeast.  Something wasn't quite right, so I raised the binoculars-- 
it was a sub-adult Golden Eagle, Basic II or III.  It veered a little  
to the west, giving me good looks at wings and tail pattern, then  
resumed its course northwest and out of sight.

Blackwater Bridge Access was disappointing today, so drove on to look  
for Sappington Cemetery, a state historical site.  Came across a  
couple of interesting signs erected by the Friends of Arrow Rock--one  
for Pilot Hickory, the center of the Sappington estates, and one for  
Sappington Negro Cemetery.  Fascinating history.  Found the cemetery,  
birded it and read tombstones.  Somehow, Fox Sparrow and Claiborne  
Fox Jackson, Missouri's secessionist governor, seemed a natural.

On to Arrow Rock and the historical site--not much bird action, had  
to work for the few to be found, but a small flock of yellow-rumps  
was fun to watch as they took turns behaving like flycatchers one  
moment, then chickadees the next.

Up a road I'd never travelled before, and across the Missouri at  
Glasgow.  Just off the bridge is the sign to Stump Island Park  
access.  Found the first singing Carolina Wren I've heard all week.   
And another historical surprise:  Gregg Creek and a great sign  
telling the story of Josiah Gregg.  Any Santa Fe Trail buff will  
recognize him as the author of Commerce of the Prairie--perhaps the  
best diary/tale of the trail.

Still had daylight, so headed for Peters Lake west of Fayette.  Not  
much there, so on to DC Rogers Lake.  Upon my arrival 7 ducks took  
off into the sun headed straight for Peters Lake where I had just  
been--silhouetted duck rear ends in glare are not fun.  One lone Snow  
Goose was standing on a point.  Good variety there for after 5 p.m.!

Full lists on CACHE and SPARKS later.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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