Birds of note:  13+ Common Loons, Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, Wood Ducks, Gadwall, Mallards, N. Shovelers, N Pintail (1), Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead (2), Hooded Mergansers, Ruddy Ducks, E Meadowlarks, Bob White Quail, Am White Pelicans in flight and asleep, Bald Eagles, Coopers, a Sharp-shinned, two Red-taileds, N Harrier, Ross' Goose on causeway to spillway at RMBS, Belted Kingfisher.
 
Weather started out cool and drizzly, but improved during the day.
 
We began at Creve Coeur Lake in St Louis County after reading Charlene's posting about the Common Loons there Wednesday.  Accidental timing was perfect as there were at least 13 Common Loons feeding together about 10 yards offshore from the Marine Ave entrance to the lake.  What a sight after seeing the distant loons scattered across Carlyle Lake last Saturday.  Moving to Sailboat Cove gave us better looks at a mixed raft of ducks.
 
On to Columbia Bottom in a vain search for Bill Rowe and Randy Korotev's longspurs from last weekend.  However, the SUN came out briefly about 11am as we had stopped to look for sparrows.  Suddenly we were surrounded by Eastern Meadowlarks, singing and sitting up.  Some were browsing on a grass road where they were joined by a small covey of Bob Whites, first of year for several of us.  A few raptor species, a Eurasian Tree Sparrow, House Sparrows, N Cardinals, a White-throated Sparrow singing, other buzzy sparrow songs, a brief scream sounded like a Red-shouldered Hawk,   Dottie finally saw her year's Hairy Woodpecker near a Downy.
 
At Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary (St Charles County) we added a large group of male and female Hooded Mergansers in Teal Pond, more C Loons in Ellis Bay, 2 candidates for Pacific Loon in Teal but I was too timid to call them as no size comparison was nearby.  There were at least four Bald Eagles around.  Our First of Season Ross's Goose was on the Causeway to the spillway with a second white goose swimming with the rafts of ducks, mostly Lesser Scaup and a couple of Horned Grebes and Ruddies.  About half the ducks in Heron Pond were Ring-neckeds.  We added another N Harrier. 
 
We checked briefly at Horseshoe Lake State Park in Illinois for a Black Scoter, but the closest we came was a female scaup and some Ruddys.
 
All in all a good day to be out birding.
 
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
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