Happy New Year All!
Decided to see how many species I could record by 4PM on New Year's Day, starting at about 6AM. The first excitement of the morning was coming up on a car completely upside down in the middle of Hwy 94 - Luckily the driver was fine. After that, Busch CA (St. Charles Co.) gave me my first bird of the year, a calling BARRED OWL. Another stop and two GREAT HORNED OWLS were checked off as they called to one another. I have yet to locate an Eastern Screech Owl in St. Charles Co and that species was missed yesterday. At the Fallen Oak Nature Trail at least 4 PURPLE FINCHES were at the feeding station, while an EASTERN TOWHEE called from further in the woods. At the Lake 6 pines I added a single RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH. Side Note - Roads at Busch are quite ice covered...
From there I ran by Howell Island CA (St. Louis Co.), as already mentioned the SANDHILL CRANE continued. At Creve Coeur Lake I could not locate the Long-tailed Duck reported yesterday, but did add 4 REDHEADS, 2 AMERICAN WIGEON, which were not exactly expected for the day list. Only 2 GREAT-TAILED GRACKLES were observed at the Bryan Island Stables (St. Louis Co.), but later in the day based on a tip from Mr. Becher I had 25+ as well as 10+ RUSTY BLACKBIRDS at the Seeburger and Dwyer stable (St. Charles Co.).
At Riverlands M.B.S (St. Charles Co.) an AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, and NORTHERN PINTAIL were nice additions to the day, mixed in with the very large group of Mallards and Canada Geese in Ellis Bay. Two FOX SPARROWS next to the maintenance building were a first at Riverlands for me. From there I decided to look for the AMERICAN PIPITS that Dave Rogles said were present along the confluence road, ran into Pat Lueders and Linda Bobo along the way who also wanted to see them.... We found all 24 of them where previously reported, a life bird for Linda!
As noted in yesterday's reports, LAPLAND LONGSPURS are everywhere that their is proper habitat in the St. Louis area. I found 5 groups of 50+ in the St. Charles Co. flood plains. I also observed them at two conservation areas I had not before recorded them, Marais Temps Clair (St. Charles Co.) and at B.K. Leach CA - King's Lake Unit (Lincoln Co.).
Ended the day with 67 species, the last being a couple of EASTERN MEADOWLARKS at B.K. Leach CA.
Great Birding to All in 2010!
St. Louis County, MO[log in to unmask]
Bird Photos: http://www.pbase.com/jpuf