I made a few laps around Smithville Lake(Clay County, MO) this morning.. Encountered a different mix of birds today as spring migration continues. Highlights:
Spotted Sandpiper-30+(active and vocal)
Bonaparte's Gull-16(all 1st cycle birds; where did all the adults go?)
Franklin's Gull-3
Ring-Billed Gull-2(an unusually low number)
Herring Gull-5(weird ratio of RBGU to HEGU for late April)
Large, 4-year gull with identity issues-1(kept wanting to call this one a 1st cycle Lesser Black-Backed Gull, but I was seeing some Herring in the spread wing. Never did get a good photo of the upperwing pattern and ran out of time).
Forster's Tern-20
Other observations: No Loons seen or heard; Ruddies, Scaup, and Ring-Necked Ducks appear to have moved out; only ducks observed were 8 Northern Shoveler; Savannah, Vesper, and Lark Sparrows numerous and vocal, Yellow Warblers arriving and asserting themselves; Northern Orioles heard everywhere.
Good Birding,
Doug Willis
Liberty, MO
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