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After I observed ten (10) FOY birds yesterday, I thought that things might be a little slower today. But, I was surprised to see eight (8) more FOY birds today around the oxbow lakes area south of Saint Joseph. Beginning at Lake Contrary today's first FOY was a GREEN HERON followed shortly thereafter with a lone FORSTER'S TERN (FOY). Several Great Egrets were seen as well as eleven species of waterfowl.
   
  Sparrows seen today included: Chipping, Lark, Savannah, Song, Lincoln's, Swamp, White-throated and Harris's. Also a few lingering Dark-eyed Junco. When the juncos leave, the Chimney Swifts arrive here in Saint Joseph. So far, I have not seen any swifts; perhaps they are waiting for the juncos to go north! Usually I get the swifts on April 15 but not this year. I imagine it may have something to do with the rainy, foggy, drizzly weather (and not the juncos)!
   
  Rather unexpectly, Horseshoe Lake (which has been completely dry for several years) is now holding a little water, resulting from all of the moisture which we have been receiving lately. Today there were several "pans" of sizeable pools. The birds really took advantage of the "new habitat". This area was far and away the best region to bird this morning. I will list the birds which I saw there. Some of the species were, of course, seen in other surrounding areas, but some were unique to Horseshoe Lake this morning. They are in the order in which I first noticed them (therefore, not taxonomically ordered).
   
  YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD, about 25 (FOY)
  WHITE-FACED IBIS (9) (FOY)
  GLOSSY IBIS (1) (FOY)
  HUDSONIAN GODWIT (6) (FOY)...Jack H. came down from town after I had called him and he thought that there were perhaps 8 or 9 when he was watching them.
  SEMIPALMATED PLOVER (2) (FOY)
  Killdeer
  Blue-winged Teal
  Green-winged Teal
  American Golden-Plover, about a dozen
  Gadwall
  Northern Shoveler
  Red-winged Blackbird
  Brown Thrasher
  Northern Cardinal
  Horned Lark
  American Coot
  European Starling
  Wood Duck, one dazzling drake
  Pectoral Sandpiper, only one
  Pied-billed Grebe
   
  Driving on to Muskrat Lake, I observed a mixed flock of gulls containing ~30 Franklin's, ~10 Bonaparte's and five Ring-billed. Nearby was FOY bird # 8 for the day, CATTLE EGRET.
   
  Then on to Mud Lake, I noticed a flock of 30 or so American Pipits picking around in a soggy, harvested field. Going a little further past the lake I tallied a Loggerhead Shrike. There seemed to be a pair of these yesterday in the same location. ( * A couple of years ago they nested in a Red Cedar in this area.)
   
  All in all, a pretty good morning for birding, even though there was light rain the entire time I was out!
   
   
   
   
   


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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ASM Spring Meeting ... May 2, 3, & 4, 2008 at Chillicothe, MO
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