I can confirm the Mourning Warbler, and recorded the Empid as a Least Flycatcher based on its single vocalization while I watched.  Numbers of Wilson’s and Blackpoll had increased by the time I arrived.  There was a Canada Warbler foraging near a smaller downed tree about 30 yards west of the one Jean describes.  Tennessee Warblers had apparently moved into the line of trees between the Katy Trail and wetland.  Among the shorebirds, the 50 had become 15.  I saw Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper and Phalarope, but missed the others.  Also missed the Bittern—stayed until 8:30 hoping to hear it call.

 

Michael J. Warnock

Columbia, MO  65211

 


From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jean Leonatti
Sent: Monday, May 19, 2008 8:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Least Bittern, Mourning Warbler!

 

This evening I decided to ride my bike to Wetland Unit #2 in search of the Least Bittern report by J. Pons yesterday.  I arrived at the exact location he described, and found a flock of about 50 shorebirds - including 15 Dunlin, 5 Stilt Sandpipers, 3 Wilson's Phalaropes, 4 Lesser yellowlegs and an assortment of pectorals, baird's and white-rumps.  While I was watching them, the Least Bittern stalked right into view!  I could hear Blackpoll and Yellow Warblers behind me, but couldn't take my eyes off the bittern.

 

Decided to continue around the unit, searching for more mudflats or  other waders.  When I got to the opposite side, on the "woods" side of the levee, I could see a fluttering of activity near a large fallen tree.  As I am scanning it with binocs,  out pops a Mourning Warbler - gorgeous, with the sunlight hitting it full on.  There were also 5 American Redstarts, 2 Wilson's, several Tennessee and too numerous to count Yellow Warblers, down in this area fluttering all around the fallen limbs -- and an empid standing SILENT guard over the whole scene.  The Mourning Warbler came back for a second look.  Blackpoll and more Yellows and Tennessees in the trees above.  About 10 nighthawks flew over head.  This is about 7p.

 

As I head back down the trail, I am wishing there was another birder around to share this with.  And who materializes on the trail but Mike Warnock --- I share my news with him, and he tells me that he just had a Black-billed Cuckoo in the willows where the headquarters trail meets the Katy Trail.  I head in that direction.  Don't find the cuckoo, but a Blue Grosbeak pops out.

 

Great evening, I think I'll have a glass of wine!

 

Oh, I did listen for Moorhen at both #1 and #2, but didn't hear or see them.  Several Virginia Rails, and lots of Soras calling at #1.

Jean Leonatti
Boone County, Columbia, MO
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