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I birded the oxbow lakes area south of Saint Joseph this morning. The Purple Martins and Barn Swallows finally showed up for a couple FOY for me. They joined the Tree Swallows which have been here for several days. There was also a Greater Scaup in the vicinity of the Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, Northern Shoveler, Gadwall, Blue and Green-winged Teal. There were a few Canada Geese, Wood Duck, American Wigeon, one pair of Northern Pintail and some Ruddy Ducks. I observed two flocks of gulls of about 25 individuals in each flock on Lake Contrary, Ring-billed and Franklin's. There were four or five Bonaparte's Gulls in the air and feeding.
   
  The only shorebirds seen this morning were Killdeer, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, and Wilson's Snipe. There were quite a few Vesper, Savannah and Song Sparrows along the ditches and hedges of the back roads in the area.
   
  I popped over to Bluff Woods CA and thought for awhile the only birds I was going to see would be Turkey Vultures. I found a stump I could sit on and waited quietly for awhile. Before long the birds came to me: White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmice, Carolina Wren, Winter Wren, gobbling Wild Turkeys, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-tailed Hawk, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creeper, Northern Cardinal and Dark-eyed Junco. Oh yes, and Turkey Vultures!
   
  Back home now and as I am composing this, I get a call from Brenda who is looking out the back window. She says come and see the towhee. So I run back and get my FOY Eastern Towhee. Then out our side window I see some Pine Siskins, a Brown Creeper and a Hermit Thrush.
   
  I better put this on the list and do some more watching!


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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