Mary Anne talked me into taking her out to look for the White-rumped Sandpipers.  We didn't find the sandpipers, but we did see 20 Black-necked Stilts.  We arrived at Columbia Bottom shortly after 6 p.m., and it started raining.  The rain stopped about 15 minutes later.  We checked out the flooded farm fields heading east on the gravel road.  We stopped at the first gravel parking lot and walked across the gravel road to the blocked road that is marked for official vehicles only.  We saw three coyotes down near the end of the road.  As we walked down the road, we caught glimpses of Black-necked Stilts.  When we got to the first large flooded field on the left (where the coyotes had been earlier), Black-necked Stilts started flying into an area about 50 feet from us.  This occurred at about 7:10 p.m..  At one point many of them took off and circled.  I counted 19, but Mary Anne said she was sure she counted 20 birds in flight.  There may have been more on the ground.
We also saw 8 Ruddy Ducks on a flooded pond a little further out.  We left at about 8:10 p.m. when it started to rain heavily again.
David & Mary Anne Marjamaa
Manchester, MO
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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