It was very blustery this morning as I headed out east of town to check on some mud flats reported to me by Frances Cramer. Not too many birds were visiting the area. The temps were in the 30's F and the wind was gusting up to 40 MPH (wind did not seem to drop to much below that all morning). There were a few Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal in the watery area, with American Golden-Plovers on the fringes. I did see one "peep", peeping out from behind a tuft of dry grass (probably a Least Sandpiper). There were some grackles, red-wings and one Rusty Blackbird. It seemed like the only sparrows around were Savannahs.

Leaving this area I headed over to Nelson Road south of Lake Contrary. The Cinnamon Teal was still there. He was even more attentive to the female Blue-winged Teal than he had been previously. She was more or less ignoring him the whole time, quite content to strain through the murky water for nutrients.

The Wilson's Phalarope had changed its venue from Horseshoe Lake to Muskrat Lake across the road. There was just a "dabbling" of dabblers on this lake, some teal and shovelers.

Taking Cottonwood Road east toward 59 Highway, I stopped beside a brushy ditch and "pished" (oh, for the uninformed this is a noise produced by blowing air out through pursed lips, reported to get birds to come out from their hiding places so the birder can see the bird). At any rate, a female Eastern Towhee popped up as well as a couple of sparrow species (Song and Fox). Driving further along the road I observed a couple roadside Vesper Sparrow. * Savannah Sparrows were encountered wherever I went. 

Besides the aforementioned plovers and phalarope, the only other shorebirds I saw were Killdeer, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs.

When I got back home there were two Pine Siskins coming to our feeders. They have been "on again/off again" this year (mostly off)!

Larry Lade

Saint Joseph, MO

gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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