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I spent about 2.5 hours today in and near Confluence SP, past  
Riverlands in St. Charles Co.  Of interest:

Just before you reach the boundary of the state park, there is a nice  
mudflat/puddle on the left very close to the road, where you can have  
good shorebird studies with binoculars from your car.  This pool had  
25+ Least Sandpipers around it today along with one Semipalmated  
Sandpiper (all adults in alternate plumage).  In addition, one adult  
dowitcher in handsome alternate plumage turned out to be a Long- 
billed Dowitcher, surprising to me since I have not previously had  
one in July in Missouri (nor has anyone else that I know of).  It  
called repeatedly to clinch its own identification.  I'll be  
documenting it.  The bird also moved to an adjacent bit of water on  
the other side of the road that lies right on the park boundary and  
actually flew into the park at one point.  That bit of water had 2  
Pectoral Sandpipers as well.

Just around the curve of the road, well inside the park boundary, is  
a large shallow pond on the right, which today was chock full of  
herons:  my estimates were Great Egret 180, Snowy Egret 100, and  
Little Blue Heron 20.  A few shorebirds including Lesser Yellowlegs  
flew in there too.  If you cruise by slowly without getting out of  
the car, they don't seem to get spooked.

I'm sure the more active birders are well aware of these spots, but I  
thought some people might want to know.  Riverlands itself seemed to  
have no shorebirds at all, and not much else either except pelicans,  
cormorants, Ring-billed Gulls, and a Caspian Tern.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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