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ST. LOUIS AUDUBON SOCIETY
Report for Saturday, October 17, 2009

GILBERT LAKE, Jersey County, Illinois

23 birders began the day here on a cool, clear-blue-skied fall  
morning.  Lake level was high, but there was a small flock of  
waterfowl including 2 AMERICAN WIGEON and a handsome male WOOD DUCK.   
Also, 40 BLUE JAYs and 15 NORTHERN FLICKERs were quite active.  A few  
TREE, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED and BARN SWALLOWs worked the Illinois  
River and lake, back and forth over the levee, with 3 of the latter,  
puffed up, looking cold and tired on their perch overhanging the river.

We headed up to Pere Marquette State Park for a short break, then  
watched Stump Lake for more swallows, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTs, a 3rd- 
year BALD EAGLE with osprey-like eye stripe, and the first DARK-EYED  
JUNCO many had seen this season.

On the Brussels Ferry crossing the first of the day's many AMERICAN  
WHITE PELICAN appeared on the river and in the sky, plus RING-BILLED  
and HERRING GULLs.

SWAN LAKE, Calhoun County, Illinois

The Swan Lake/Illinois River levee was open its entire length to auto  
traffic and, presented with this unique opportunity, the group decided  
to adjust the trip plan and drive the levee the full ten miles to its  
terminal at the Fuller Lake Wildlife Management Area, east of  
Batchtown.  Along this route we watched thousands of birds, with the  
highest concentrations toward the downriver end of the refuge.  We  
took our picnic lunch on the levee while watching more pelicans and a  
flock of 20 large-bodied, medium-sized CANADA GOOSE, possibly of the  
lesser population.  Also along the levee, five of the common sparrows,  
plus EURASIAN TREE SPARROW, BELTED KINGFISHER, PIED-BILLED GREBE, RING- 
NECKED DUCK, NORTHERN HARRIERs and, thanks to hawk-eyed Bob Pitzer,  
AMERICAN AVOCET and MUTE SWAN.  The swan was floating, appropriately,  
on Swan Lake.  Connie Alwood's car added RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, PALM  
WARBLER and YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO to the day's list.

Estimates and counts of some species:

Wood Duck, 26
Gadwall, 200
American Wigeon, 55
Mallard, low 1000s
Blue-winged Teal, 250
Northern Shoveler, 80
Northern Pintail, low 1000s
Green-winged Teal, 300
Ruddy Duck, 150
American White Pelican, 500
Double-crested Cormorant, 300
Turkey Vulture, 85
Bald Eagle, 21
American Coot, 2500

Extra thanks to the staff of the Two Rivers NWR for special access,  
and also to members of the Great Rivers Audubon Society for their  
hospitality and help on the levee.

RIVERLANDS MBS, St. Charles County, Missouri

The group headed back the Great River Road and, per an earlier tip  
from Joe Eades, made a beeline to Heron Pond in time to see the 5  
Plegadis IBIS, along with a small, mixed flock of shorebirds including  
KILLDEER, both YELLOWLEGS, LEAST, PECTORAL and STILT SANDPIPERs,  
DUNLIN, LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER, and dowitcher, sp.  5 BONAPARTE'S GULLs  
over Ellis Bay moved around the vicinity of the tern barge.

A few single GREAT EGRETs, five of the woodpeckers, small, scattered  
concentrations of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERs and several large flocks of  
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH also for the day, with a trip total of 75 species.

Mike Thelen
University City (St. Louis County), Missouri
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/