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Today I left work early to see two sought-after rare birds. The Brown Pelican I 
saw at Riverlands was not a lifebird for me. I have seen a lot of Brown 
Pelicans on Southeastern coast but this one was my first in Midwest. I did not 
find the Little Gull. I went to Columbia Bottom before going to Riverlands just 
to check if there were any shorebirds there. But the only shorebird I saw at 
Columbia Bottom was a lone Solitary Sandpiper. There were a lot of Great 
Egrets, some Snowy Egrets, one juvenile Little Blue Heron, and just one Cattle 
Egret (my FOY) there. 
At Riverlands, I found four different species of terns, all of them on Illinois 
side - Forster's ( most numerous), Caspian (5), Black (just one), and Common 
( I found some when I noticed red bills thru my spotting scope, using 60x 
power). Forster's Terns have orange bills with black tips. The Brown Pelican 
was on Illinois side throughout the time I was there, never on Missouri side. 
Remember that Missouri and Illinois are not necessarily divided by the Great 
River. The parking lot on the south side of the dam is actually in Illinois. There 
were four Herring Gulls on Illinois side. 
Across from Heron Pond I found three Black-bellied Plovers, two of them in 
breeding plummage and one in alternate plummage, on the shore of Ellis Bay. 
These birds were on Missouri side. Also saw some Semipalmated Plovers and 
one Spotted Sandpiper in the flooded area near the south parking lot on Illinois 
side. Observed two male Baltimore Orioles while walking on part of Ellis Island 
trail. The river water was still high.  

Good birding, 
Jim Hickner 
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