As Charlene related, Tom and I found the WW Scoter in Ellis across from Heron Pond.  We only spent a short time at Riverlands and then headed across St. Charles Co and up the 79 corridor.  Our goal was to find some Rusty Blackbirds.

We found 53 Rusties (16 females) along Hayford Road about 200 yards from B.  Returning to B we crossed over and went toward the ferry; the field on the right, before the RR tracks had about 150 Rusties (28% female) and while we were watching more birds flew in - 25 here, 15, then 50; final count was around 300 Rusty, 50 Red-winged, 12 or so Starling.

We found another batch of Rusties at BK, just south of M where it turns to gravel.  Count was 26 birds (14 females).

BK (Kings Lake) had thousands of Pintails and Mallard and smaller numbers of other ducks: Canvasback (1), Bufflehead (2), Lesser Scaup (8/10), Shoveler (4), Widgeon (6), Ring-necked duck (15?), Ruddy (10).  Several White-fronted geese and the lone white goose was a Ross's.  At the Sherman tract we had 150 pelicans, 100 RBGU, 7 Eastern Bluebirds, 35 Bald Eagles and the usual sparrows-White-crowned, Tree, Song, Swamp. 

At Winfield we found 74 Bald Eagles-more than 50 sitting on exposed debris just upstream of the dam and on the far side of the river.  No Golden Eagle.  Only ducks were Common Mergansers.

We went as far north as Clarence Cannon-a wasted trip, no ducks and everything is posted off limits.  The eagles have built their nest next to the 2/3 mile loop trail (a favorite place to find Rusties) and so we will not be allowed to walk the loop until the end of June.  So much for checking this area out for spring migrants!

We returned to BK and at 5:52 we found a Short--eared Owl perched on one of the signs- it was past sunset, but plenty light to see the bird and all the field marks.  The bird did not spook until we got real close, so we could actually see the short 'ear' tufts.

Good Birding
Dave Rogles
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St. Charles 

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