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The St.Louis Audubon Society had a birding trip today, Nov 3, at Horseshoe
Lake in Illinois.  When we arrived at the parking lot at 8:00 am off Hwy 111
the shotguns could be heard banging away from the Walker Island side.   Not
sure what they were shooting at as we could see almost no ducks flying.

The main body of water was fairly devoid of waterfowl, but some Ruddy Ducks,
Pied-billed Grebes, a few Coots and some Great Blue Herons were seen.
Along the north shore we had a couple of Double-crested Cormorants and a
flyover Common Loon.   There were some other non-I.D ducks in the distance.

Down Sand Prairie Lane we went and spent a lot of time verifying that the
dark phase raptor that Paul Bauer had found yesterday was indeed a
Rough-legged Hawk.  Following that we went to Indian (dry today) Lake on
Collinsville Rd.  There we had one Kestrel and a few each of Song Sparrows,
Swamp Sparrows, one Lincoln's Sparrow and one White-Crowned Sparrow.

On to the borrow pit where we had a distant dark Ibis.   We were met at the
gate by two men in a truck who dissuaded us from walking way down the road
to do a real I.D. for the Ibis species.   This bird was along the shore of
the large sand pile at the end of the water.   Quite a few gulls here mostly
Ring-billed with a couple of Herring Gulls tossed in.

On Bend Rd we were treated to a huge flight of American White Pelicans and
quite a few ducks in the adjacent waters.  Most were Gadwall with some
Northern Shovelers added in.  At the railroad tracks there were thousands of
ducks.   We saw Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Ruddys,
Mallards, plus some others that I have forgotten.   In this group there were
also Canada Geese and a few Greater White-fronted Geese.  Further along we
saw a huge raft of Coots and, at the end, a single female Lesser Scaup on
the main part of the lake.

Other birds seen along the way included a few Red-tailed Hawks, American
Robins, Turkey Vultures, Northern Flickers, ETS.

John Solodar

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