No new year or season birds for us on Thursday.  (I had saved this as a draft Thursday evening when I was interrupted while composing it.  Apologies for very late posting.)
 
We had a short outing due to commitments in early afternoon. At Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary all the ponds and shallow water and the least tern barge were mostly iced over or ice-covered.  Ellis Bay was ice-free except in the shallows.
 
Ducks we had included Canvasbacks, Scaup species, few Ruddies, lots of Red-breasted Mergansers, Goldeneye, Mallards...one gathering of Am Wh Pelicans, Am Kestrels, two N Harriers, a minimum of 4 Bald Eagles, a couple of Pied-billed Grebes, no outstanding gulls, lots of Horned Larks mostly at the corner of Red School Road and Orton, no longspurs confirmed (they seem to be mostly north of Hazlett at Carlyle Lake where we saw them last Saturday and where Connie had seen some earlier this week).
 
The swans were dispersing to their feeding grounds in small family groups.  A few of these were still hanging around Ellis Bay across from the service station as well as larger groups in some open water in Teal Pond and farther out in Ellis Bay.  There was still a stiff and very cold wind blowing that made separating any Tundra from the Trumpeters difficult, especially as the birds were flying over our heads into the sun while most of the birds in the water were sleeping with their heads under their wings. 
 
At Columbia Bottom there were Red-tailed Hawks, more Am Kestrels, at the feeders Am Goldfinches, House Finches, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, N Cardinals, Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Eurasian Tree Sparrows, an unidentified wren-like bird spotted by Lisa and seen by others in our group.
 
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
 
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