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Son Matt and I spent 4 hours at Columbia Bottom this morning and had  
63 species, not bad considering you couldn't proceed beyond the point  
where the main road crosses the bike trail levee.  Numbers of wading  
birds continue to increase: GREAT EGRETS were up in the vicinity of  
130 and LITTLE BLUE HERONS at about 75, plus nine SNOWIES, 14 CATTLE,  
and three BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS.  We had all the species Josh  
reported from Saturday except for the Redheads; this included 18+  
BLACK-NECKED STILTS, 14 RUDDY DUCKS, a SHOVELER, and a HOODED  
MERGANSER, plus COOT, MOORHEN, and PIED-BILLED GREBE.

In addition, there was still one lone migrant bird, a WHITE-RUMPED  
SANDPIPER, heading for the arctic tundra on a severely delayed  
schedule.  Other nice sightings included the BLUE GROSBEAK pair  
around the visitor center.

The biggest surprise, though, was the presence of thousands of baby  
FOWLER'S TOADS hopping all over the place on every road and path --  
even on the steps up to the visitor center -- along with the  
occasional adult.  This species was calling all over the area a month  
ago, and reproduction was apparently spectacular.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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