I had all but given up on seeing a ST Flycatcher in Stoddard Co. this year. The family that had nested on the East side of Otter Slough CA the past two years did not return this year, and my searches for a count STFL yielded a big zero all spring and summer long.
Wednesday, will driving North on Hwy 51, coming from Hwy 60 on my way to Puxico, ~4-5 miles South of Puxico, there was a STFL bright as day perched on a utility wire next to the road.
The movement of a flycatcher (out, aerial-acorbatic loop-de-loop, and back) caught my attention at a good distance away. As I drove nearer, I was wondering why it had caught a corn husk or leaf (as a nearby corn field had been combined recently). "Possibly playing a game or practicing its aerial hunting prowess.", I found myself thinking. Then once I was close enough to SEE the bird properly, the realization hit me of its true identity - not "just a" flycatcher, but a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. An audible "Wohoo!" lept from my lips.
What a wonderful surprise it was; for this observation was not just another tick on a yearly county list, but that this particular bird always brightens my day when I see it! Such a beautiful bird!
I'm not sure if they're still "supposed" to be in MO. I would think it's getting kind of late. Then again, it is migration time with multiple storm systems moving through the area; . . . anything can happen. I'm still waiting for an Ivory-billed Woodpecker to find my suet in the back yard! Hey, when I dream. . . . I dream big!
Good Birding!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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