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Gary Johnson and I birded Cooley Lake this morning, which included walking 
the gated road north of the observation tower. After that, we drove Ridge 
Road from County N to County JJ.

The place was crawling with flycatchers, especially empids, most of them 
silent. We noted about a dozen of the Traill's complex, three of them 
occaisionally giving Alder songs, and 2-3 Least-types, two giving "chebek" 
calls once or twice, 2-3 unidentified empids with prominent eye rings, a 
couple of Wood Pewees, several Great Crested Flycatchers, a half dozen 
Eastern Kingbirds and a couple of Western Kingbirds.

The warblers were also silent even though the sun was shining; it was not 
cold, and it was not windy. We noted only singles of Orange-crowned, 
Tennesseeand Am. Redstart and quite a few Yellows and Yellowthroats, plus 
Red-eyed, Warbling and Yellow-throated Vireos. The orioles, Yellowthroats 
and R-B Grosbeaks were singing, but the resident Yellow Warblers were not 
even singing territorially.

We had been planning to drive to Liberty to look for Bobolinks, but we found 
one in a field on the south side of Ridge Road about .4 of a mile before it 
joins JJ. He sang.

We hoped to hear bitterns, rails and Marsh Wrens at Cooley Lake, but heard 
none of them. The water is pretty high for rails; large areas that 
previously contained emergent vegetation are now open water, and the 
cattails look fairly short and waterlogged even for bitterns and Marsh 
Wrens. The ducks are gone. There is no shorebird habitat.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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