I'm reporting for Joe Eades, who has just observed a ROYAL TERN at Table Rock Lake (Taney/Stone Co's) this evening (September 5) for about 45 minutes.  Directions follow, and Joe states that he will be at the spot first thing in the morning to try to relocate the bird.

This is a potential first state record and therefore needs to be documented with special care.  There are two ways in which it can achieve acceptance:  (1) Someone gets diagnostic photographs.  These do not have to be great pictures, but they must show the diagnostic features of the bird.  It may be hard to get such photos if the bird is far out on the lake, but let's hope someone gets lucky.  (2)  Two or more observers INDEPENDENTLY watch the bird, take careful field notes on the spot, and write up their documentations soon thereafter.  The meaning of "independently" is that the observers should not be talking to each other, discussing field marks, and thereby possibly convincing one another of what they are seeing.  The two (or more) documentations also need to be "independently acceptable," i.e., either one alone contains sufficient detail to make the record acceptable under normal circumstances (other than first state record).

Joe will of course provide one documentation, so other observers are needed to locate the bird (which Joe can help with, if he is already on it) and then do their own observing and note-taking and  
documentation (which neither Joe nor anyone else can help with).   
This policy may seem a bit arbitrary, but it is designed to avoid the situation where observers talk each other into agreement on certain field marks—a scenario that has actually occurred many times.  With properly independent documentations, the MBRC will accept a record  
without the necessity of physical evidence (photo, specimen, etc.).    

So please go for it!

Direcions are as follows:  Take Hwy 65 south to Old Hwy 86.  Turn right on Old Hwy 86 and follow for about 4 miles and look for the sign to "Old Hwy 86 Recreational Area".  Turn right to the "Old Hwy 86 Recreational Area".  The area is closed, so park at the gate and walk in.  The bird was observed a good distance out over the lake with 10 Black Terns and 2 Least Terns, from the furthest point out at the campground.  (DeLorme Atlas Page 62, H-2).

Good Luck,
Bill Rowe and Joshua Uffman

Joshua Uffman
St. Louis County, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: Sept. 26-28, 2008 at Osage Beach, MO
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