Good evening all!

Tonight's visit to Otter Slough revealed very little at pool 22 compared to Wednesday night just before the storm. Wednesday night at Otter Slough in Pool 24 there were about 13-15 Black Terns wafting over the water and at least three families of Pied-billed Grebes there as well. At Pool 22, Wednesday night, there were about 15 Least Sandpipers, two Semipalmated Sandpipers, ~15-20 Lesser Yellowlegs and several Greater Yellowlegs, three Dowitchers all of which are presumed to be Short-billed - heavy barring on the flanks, and two Solitary Sandpipers.

Wednesday night's storm hit adding considerable amounts of water to the once small puddle. Tonight, the shorebirds at pool 22 were limited to only a few flyover Greater Yellowlegs, ~ 15 Least Sandpipers, ~12 Killdeer and two Semipalmated's.

The action I found later had moved to the private property immediately West of Otter Slough - the Marsh where the Mottled Duck was observed earlier in the summer. The marsh land had been gradually drained, then disced/turned last week, and apparently they began pumping water back into the marsh either yesterday or this morning. The pump was still running this evening.

I scanned the marsh over many times quadruple checking the exposed furrows and clumps - still no Willets or Whistlers! At least 4 Black Terns were present, many Great Blue Herons, about 9 Great Egrets, three flyover Snowy Egrets, skads of Lesser Yellowlegs, about 10-15 Greater Yellowlegs, 10+ Black-necked Stilts, 15+ Pectoral Sandpipers, a small flock of Least Sandpipers, several other unidentifiable peeps, Killdeer galore, Mallards and one MOTTLED DUCK, presumably the same as the one previously observed.

The MOTTLED DUCK was at the very back of marsh (farthest South edge) with Mallards offering a great contrast in plumage. A scope of 20X plus will be required should the MODU be at that position if you should come to look for it. Once again, this is PRIVATE PROPERTY, please respect the No Tresspassing signs. If you park on the side of the road at/near the drive where the pontoon boat is beached, you should be able to see most the marsh looking south/southeast.

Good Birding!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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