Thursday was a beautiful day proving the old adage good weather, few birds.
We started at Tower Grove Park to find the dozens of warblers there on Tuesday had mostly headed out or otherwise disappeared.  Best warbler (Thanks, Connie) was a Black-throated Green near Jack Van's Pond in the cypresses at the east end of the park. It was a year bird for several of the group.  Jean Cook had spotted a snoozing C Nighthawk high in a tree near the stables whose white wing stripe was visible.  Third "best" bird to that point was a Common Grackle with a snow-white tail feeding by himself (ostracised?).
After lunch we headed for Horseshoe Lake Illinois State Park.  Rose Ann Bodman had a hunch; as soon as we saw the lake water was only about six inches below the causeway we gave up on whinnying for a sora rail.  We stopped about the middle to scan for ducks and grebes, Rose Ann opened her door to step out and almost hit a beautiful Sanderling in crisp juvenile plumage on the rocks by the water.  It didn't flush, so I got out the other side to alert the others and we all enjoyed binocular views of our bird of the day from five to twelve feet away.  It was a year bird for seven out of ten and a life bird for Paul.  In other years with high water, we had also seen sanderlings on the causeway.
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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