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A couple other notes about the location of "the tree": It is an ash,  
and can be seen/scoped from the parking lot. The paved trail runs east  
and west in front of the parking lot, then takes a 45-degree turn to  
the south. The ash tree is on the southwest corner of this bend in the  
paved trail. There is another smaller ash on the northeast corner of  
this bend in the paved trail.

I was at the Smoken' Davey trailhead from about 3:30 to 4:30 last  
night. There were about 6 female Purple Finches quietly feeding in the  
larger ash when I arrived. They flew east when Linda Williams got  
there with her camera, and never returned, although we did  
occasionally hear the call notes of Purple Finches moving through the  
woods. We made a few short forays in different directions to search  
for the birds (and other ash trees) but came up empty.

Kristi Mayo
Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
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On Nov 3, 2008, at 3:03 PM, Kristi Mayo wrote:

> Doug Willis reported in: He was observing a loose flock of 12-15  
> male & female Purple Finches when he heard an odd call. After losing  
> and then relocating the flock, he got looks at a female bird in  
> direct comparison to a Purple Finch. He also heard the bird call  
> about four times and describes it as being very distinctive and felt  
> pretty confident that it matched the call of a Cassin's Finch.
>
> The bird was at the Smoken' Davey trailhead (Smithville Lake, Clay  
> County), very close to the parking lot. The Smoken' Davey trailhead  
> is located just east of the W Highway bridge over Smithville Lake  
> (on W Hwy between the W Hwy bridge and J Hwy). Walk a short distance  
> to the left (east) on the paved trail to the spot where a dirt  
> mountain bike trail crosses the pavement. In this vicinity, there is  
> a tree laden with seeds (probably an Ash or something similar by  
> Doug's description). That is the tree the birds keep returning to.
>
> He first heard the bird a little before 2 p.m. The birds have left  
> and returned several times in the hour.
>
> Kristi Mayo
> Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
> [log in to unmask]
>
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