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The Ruby Throated Hummigbirds finally arrived in our backyard on
the west edge of Troy at about 2:30 this afternoon.

'Funny thing, I guess, as there were quite a few Pine Siskins
there, too! I counted about a dozen this AM, on the ground
beneath the feeders.

As I recall, the Pine Siskins showed up, or at least I started
noticing them, about a week after the last hummingbird had
departed.

I made my first trip to Firma Road Monday evening on the
way home.

THANKS to whoever put up the painted "FIRMA" sign.

I just saw the "usual" that most others have reported.

A pair of Blue-winged Teal flying low across one of the flooded
fields, in the last few minutes before the sun went behind the
hills, was the highlight.

It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful spring evening.

That night I looked up Firma Road on Google Earth
and that got me to wondering how many on this list are
using, or have used, Google Earth to assist with finding
one's way around -- assuming one needs that help. ;o)

I wish I had looked on Google Earth BEFORE I went to
Firma Road. I would have had a much better understanding
of where I was going and what I should be looking for.

For those who have been out to Firma, but are not familiar
with Google Earth, the big pile of black sewage pipes right
across the road from the waste/sewage plant can be clearly
seen, so other landmarks are also visible.

If you have already been using GE - here are the coordinates
for Highway 79 and Firma Road -

38Deg, 53'43.57" N - 90Deg, 41'51.75"W

Just punch those in and you'll get a great, bird's eye view of
the Treatment Plant's Settling Tanks!!

Plus, you can save the images and print them out for use
in the field.

Just thought I'd toss that out as an FYI.

If you want to download Google Earth, here's the link to
the download page;  http://earth.google.com/

It's free and shouldn't be a problem to download.

Oh yeah, it is its own program, so if you download it, you
don't need to be signed on to Internet Explorer, or
whatever browser you use, in order to open Google Earth.

If anyone has problems, or questions, (about Google Earth, that
is) feel free to email me and I'll try my best to help.

Disclaimer: I have no business/financial interest(s) in Google, but I 
wish
               I did!

Regards,
John Hitzeman
Troy, MO Lincoln County

------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting ... May 2, 3, & 4, 2008 at Chillicothe, MO
More information: http://www.mobirds.org