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Dear MoBirders,

Michelle and I headed up to Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Center Hoping to 
see the LAZULI BUNTING... About half way to Liberty, MO it started Raining So 
Hard that people were pulling off the I-70 because they couldn't see... 
Wonderful Missouri Weather!!! The closer to Liberty that we got, the More rain 
we got, my Hopes were Quickly Fading Away... I finally decided that I had 
Enough of driving in the Torrential Downpour and pulled off at the Brass 
Armadillo Antique Mall to waste some time, HOPING that the rain would slow 
down a little bit (is that Too Much To Ask!!!). Fortunately for us, after about 
an hour and a half - two hours, it finally did slow down a bit, so off we went...
We Arrived at the Nature Center at around 11:30, and Immediately went down 
to where you could see the Birdfeeders, no Lazuli... So we Searched around 
the general vacinity, in the trees and nearby bushes and came up with Many 
American Gold Finches, House Finches & Northern Cardinals, (3) Indigo 
Buntings, (1-2) Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, (1) Acadian Flycatcher, (1-2) Red-
Bellied Woodpeckers, (6+) Downy Woodpeckers, (1) Eastern Phoebe, (6-8+) 
Mourning Doves, (1) Falcon species (a larger one, possibly a Perregrine, 
though All I saw was it's Belly, as it Zipped by!!!), (1) Warbling Vireo, (2) Red-
Eyed Vireos, (1-2) Common Yellowthroats and I believe there was also (1) 
Yellow Warbler as well... Still No Lazuli...

FINALLY, after a little over an hour waiting and watching, dodging the rain and 
completely saturated ground... There He Was, He Appeared as if by Magic!!! 
We didn't See where he came from or Anything, but there he was on the 
Platform Feeder!!! I know that it was Because of the Poor (Non-Existant) 
Light, but I thought that He waould have been Much More Bright and 
Colourfull...??? So, I told Michelle to keep an eye on him while I went for my 
Camera (I didn't want it to get Wet!!!), and as I got back to the Area, I found 
out that he had been Scared Away...!!! Someone (an Employee) apparently 
didn't know that we were there and Opened the Door and let it Slam Shut, 
thus Scaring Everybird in the vacinity Away!!! They Apologized Profusely, but 
the Damage had been done...

Anyway, we decided to stay a "little" while longer to see if he would come 
back, and after another Hour of waiting he did!!! He was VERY Skittish and 
Moved around a lot, even when other Birds would get near him... I was able to 
get some Very Poor/Mediocre (I'm still Learning how to Use the Darn Thing!!!) 
Photos of him (the Overcast Hazy Light was Horrible and my Flash did little to 
Help...), but you can tell that He's a Lazuli and that's what Counts!!! Shortly 
afterwords we started to head home to Columbia...

Once back in town, we headed out to Eagle Bluffs to see if the American 
Bittern was still around... The first thing that we saw though was one of 
the "Cormorant" Trees had been Struck by Lightning (at least that's what I'm 
Assuming had Happened...)!!! The Strike Blew the Tree Apart and it was On 
Fire, even in the Constant Rain!!! After this, we searched for the Bittern, but 
to No Avail... We did come up with our FOY: SEDGE WREN, DICKCISSEL, and 
saw Several Lark Sparrows & Indigo Buntings, (2) Yellow Warblers, (3-4) 
Common Yellow-Throats, (4-6+) Palm Warblers, (1) Tennessee Warbler, (1) 
Warbling Vireo, Several Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a few other Warblers that I 
can't remember (...???) and (1) Sora - though we Heard (4-5+) of them...

All in all, a Wet and Miserable Weather Day, but a GLORIOUS "Life Bird" Birding 
Day!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please Take care and the Best of Birding to you All!!! 

Yours,
Jonathan B. Pons
Columbia, Boone County 

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