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I birded Squaw Creek NWR, Mound City, MO, this morning in spite of the April Showers. I observed thirteen species of waterfow. The Greater White-fronted Geese, Snow Geese and Ross's Geese continue to be seen on the dike in Mallard Marsh on the west side of the refuge. Canada Geese are mostly in pairs scattered around the refuge. Ducks included Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Green-winged Teal and Hooded Merganser. I observed the three regularly occuring game birds. Great Blue Herons were around in great numbers, while I observed lesser numbers of Great Egrets (14) and Snowy Egrets (2).
   
  An adult Bald Eagle was feeding small eaglets at the nest. A very nice looking Peregrine Falcon (FOY) took wing out of the Mallard Marsh Area and flew to the east. I encountered it again later over on the northeast corner of the loop road (Moist Soil Unit, I believe this area is called) perched in a dead tree surveying the waterfowl/shorebirds which were gathered there.
   
  Sora were vocalizing on the west side of the refuge, but were being drowned out by the Yellow-headed Blackbirds which were "setting up shop" in the numerous cattail stands.
   
  The rain hindered me from scoping out the various Snow Goose Pools, but I was able to see Killdeer, both yellowlegs, Semipalmated, Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, Long-billed Dowitchers and Wilson's Phalaropes.
   
  Five species of swallow were represented around the refuge.
   
  Sparrows I observed were Chipping, Lark, Savannah, Swamp, White-throated and Harris's.
   
  Leaving the refuge, I stopped by McCormick CA for about twenty minutes. Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over, but the only other warbler I saw was Orange-crowned. Picked out a few other birds (see CACHE) and then headed for Saint Joseph via "T" highway. About 1/4 mile north of Forbes, MO, I chanced upon a Gray Fox standing beside the adjacent railroad track. This is only the second or third time I have seen a wild Gray Fox in Missouri. Do the rest of you guys see them very often?
   
  Bird of the day, Peregrine Falcon, Mammal of the day, Gray Fox!


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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