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This evening I got excellent views and some mediocre photos of a  
COMMON GROUND-DOVE in my neighborhood, the Brooke Haven Subdivision  
of Kearney (Clay Co.). Linda Williams joined me about 30 minutes  
after I initially got on the bird and also had views of the bird  
perched and in flight.

The dove is utilizing an open field that backs up to a stand of woods  
along Clear Creek. The field has been "processed" for housing  
development -- vegetation stripped, water lines laid in, and you can  
tell where the roads will eventually run, but curb, gutter, pavement,  
etc. have not gone in yet. The sandy ground with brushy weeds and  
nearby woods apparently make for decent ground-dove habitat.

I actually first spotted this bird on Tuesday around 4 p.m., but it  
was with my 5-month-old daughter strapped to my chest and no  
binoculars, the look was brief, and I hated to raise the alarm when I  
had doubts in my head. I returned twice on Wednesday (around 9 a.m.  
and again around 2 p.m.) and did not relocate the bird. I finally re- 
found the bird today at 4 p.m. (again, with baby strapped to chest,  
but also with binoculars, and with a quick call home, my husband  
drove my scope and camera to me).

Following this pattern, evening will probably be the best time to see  
it.

Directions:

 From the I-35 Kearney exit: Turn right (east) on Mo Hwy 92. Go to  
the intersection of Mo Hwy 92 and Mo Hwy 33 (also called Jefferson  
St.). Turn right on Jefferson/Hwy 33. Continue south to the next  
stoplight, which is 19th Street. Turn left (east) at 19th Street. Go  
about 1 mile east on 19th Street, past the high school, to Clear  
Creek Drive on your left (which is also the entrance to the Brooke  
Haven subdivision). Go north on Clear Creek Drive about 1/4 mile to  
the spot where they've punched a dirt road into the field. There's a  
new house listed by Reece & Nichols on the corner of Clear Creek Dr.  
and this new "street".

 From here, I would recommend parking as close to the paved road as  
possible. The dirt road curves north. You can see where a cul-de-sac  
will go in straight ahead, but the road then curves back east. Today  
I first flushed the bird from near a big puddle, close to Clear Creek  
Dr., and it flew north to a locust tree. On Tuesday, the bird flushed  
from near the dirt road a little further east and again flew to a  
locust tree along the creek. It seems quite shy, flushes easily, and  
dives for the edges of the weedy areas.


Kristi Mayo
Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
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