The WGNSS Saturday group went to Horseshoe Lake in Granite City, Ill. today to look for sparrows and ducks.  We did not find anything exceptional, but the birds are starting to arrive.  There is a large flock of ducks along Bend Road at the railroad tracks that includes most of the usual dabbling species and a few divers.  The bulk of the birds were Gadwall, but there were quite a few Amer. Widgeon and Shovelers as well.  Also present were a few Pintail and among the divers a Redhead or two and some Ring-necked Ducks.  In among a flock of Ruddy Duck's was a Horned Grebe.  On the main lake the highlight was a couple of early Bonaparte's Gulls.  There were the usual sparrows starting to appear in most of the usual places.  They are starting to close off parts of Columbia Bottom for the duck hunting season.  We saw only a few birds there but the river is down sharply and there is a large mudflat at the confluence and the gulls are starting to roost there.
David Becher
Saint Louis

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