Sat Nov 15

This afternoon I stumbled on a mixed flock -- 50+ birds -- of HORNED LARKs
and LAPLAND LONGSPURs, along River Valley Drive in St. Louis County.  I
guesstimated that, very roughly, the flock was 50/50 larks and longspurs.
Look at a map that still shows Arrowhead Airport (now closed), draw a line
extending the runway center line from the north end up to where the line
intersects the drive.  That's approximately where the flock was, in the corn
stubble field 100 ft west of the road.  I first saw the flock swirling on
the east side of the road, but as they were quite active they flew across
the road to the west.

Just a few minutes earlier, along Waterworks Rd, I stopped to watch a cast
of hawks, most kiting above the bluff and one or two hunting in the County
Parks mitigation area.  They looked to be all RED-TAILED HAWKs in a variety
of plumages, except for one that I saw only briefly before it slid out of
sight.  Based on the black body and wing lining, light flight feathers,
black trailing edge and black carpal marks (size and shape uncertain), it
was likely one of these:

  A dark "Western" red-tailed
  A Harlan's red-tailed
  A dark Rough-legged Hawk

There were 10 sp. of duck represented at Creve Coeur Lake, including all
three mergansers.  Birds there included:

  American Wigeon, 1
  Redhead, 1
  Lesser Scaup, 2
  Common Merganser, 1 fem
  Red-breasted Merganser, 1 fem
  Common Loon, 3
  Horned Grebe, 3
  Northern Harrier, 1
  Wilson's Snipe, 2
  Bonaparte's Gull, 5

Mike Thelen
St. Louis County, MO
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