Saturday, November 14, 2009

Steve Kinder and I had an excellent day birding Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge at Mound City, Missouri this morning. The diving ducks are beginning to cover the refuge during their stop-overs on their way south for the winter months. Following the geese and ducks on their migration are the numerous Bald Eagles. Today we saw about 25 of these eagles, mostly immatures but 4 or 5 adult birds as well.

Our list of waterfowl included: Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Canada Goose, TRUMPETER SWAN (3), Wood Duck, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Mallard, Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser and Ruddy Duck.

Several Wild Turkeys were a welcomed sight. Three (3) COMMON LOONS at nearby Big Lake State Park gave us some good views. Back on the refuge we recorded Pied-billed Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, the aforementioned Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, American Coot, Franklin's and Herring Gull.

Next seen were some of the smaller birds: Rock Pigeon, Mourning Dove (a little scarce, because hunters are now shooting some of them - but, of course, not on the refuge), Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay and American Crow.

Some more of the smaller birds were: Black-capped Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, (we had Red-breasted Nuthatch in our yard in Saint Joseph before we headed up to the refuge), White-breasted Nuthatch, Carolina Wren, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, European Starling, and more than I have ever seen before in a flock AMERICAN PIPIT (250).

Sparrows, blackbirds, finches, etc: American Tree Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Harris's Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, recently arrived RUSTY BLACKBIRD (2), Common Grackle, Great-tailed Grackle (at grain elevators in Mound City), Brown-headed Cowbird, House Finch (again, in our yard in Saint Joseph), American Goldfinch and House Sparrow.

A great day to be out birding in the fall of the year!

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 25-27 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park