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Field Notes for 03/29/2009
Went from my Leavenworth, KS home on the way to Squaw Creek NWR via US 59 from Atchison, KS.  I arrived at my first stop at Nelson Road just off Buchanan County U, just south of St. Joseph at about 07:30, the slough/pond was about half frozen over as it was only 23F at the time.  The sky was clear and there was about an inch of snow on the ground.  Larry Lade has had Cinnamon Teal at this location for nearly two weeks and this was my target bird of the day and a lifer for me.  Since the pond was over half frozen the birds had all congregated at the west end.  I spent a half hour looking but no Cinnamon Teal.  I did observe the following at this location or along the road in the St. Joseph area.

Canada Goose
Gadwall
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
CINNAMON TEAL  at 16:00
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Pied-billed Grebe 
American Coot
Killdeer
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay 
American Crow
American Robin
European Starling
Northern Mockingbird
Dark-eyed Junco 
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle

I went ahead and headed up to Squaw Creek (Holt County) hoping that I might find a Cinnamon Teal there and if nothing else I could stop at the Nelson Rd. location on my way home and maybe get the bird then.  I arrived at Squaw Creek at about 09:00 there was a very thin layer of snow on the ground the sky was clear and it was 27F.  There was a thin layer of ice covering most of the water on the refuge at this point in time (by early afternoon all ice had melted it was 57F when I left the refuge at 15:00).   I  took my time working through the refuge looking at almost all groups of ducks and occasionally trying to find a land bird or two.  The refuge was dominated by ducks with N Shoveler and Gadwall being most abundant with Green and Blue-winged Teal next in line.   There were also quite a few American White Pelicans.  While there were still a few hundred Snow Geese the vast majority have moved north.  I did not see any Greater White-fronted or Cackling Geese but did see maybe 100 Canada Geese.  I also saw five Trumpeter Swans.  There were very few Mallards or Northern Pintails.  The divers were predominantly Ring-necked Ducks but there were a few of most other species although I did not see any Common or Red-breasted Mergansers.  I also saw the most American Coots that I have ever seen in one place.  I had made it most of the way through the refuge and had rounded the corner north of the main viewing pools when I was about to head on back home it was about 14:00.  As it turns out the flooded timber on the left side of the road had two of the best birds of the day.  I saw a group of Blue-winged Teal and they were really close to the car so I thought I would stop and take a couple of pictures with my 10x optical zoom camera, as I was reaching for the camera I noticed that one of the birds was chestnut in color and that it was not a N Shoveler, viola a Cinnamon Teal.  I got to watch the bird for at least 10 mintutes.   I continued down the road and about a hundred yards down I encountered a group of Rusty Blackbirds.  I made a couple more stops to look for shorebirds on a mud flat and headed home.  I did stop at the Nelson Road location on the way home and found the Cinnamon Teal in about 20 seconds.  I also saw a flock of Wild Turkey on the way home in Platte County.  Here is a link to a picture of the Cinnamon Teal http://img168.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cinnamonteal001.jpg.

Snow Goose 
Ross's Goose
Canada Goose
TRUMPETER SWAN
Wood Duck
Gadwall
American Widgeon
Mallard
Blue-winged Teal
CINNAMON TEAL
Northern Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Canvasback
Redhead
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scuap
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Pied-billed Grebe 
American White Pelican
Double Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Killdeer
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Calidris sp?
Pectoral Sandpiper
Wilson's Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Crow
American Robin
Northern Cardinal
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-Winged Blalckbird
RUSTY BLACKBIRD
Common Grackle

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