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I headed out towards the Lockwood area today to see if I could find any
Rusty Blackbirds, unfortunately I did not find any.  However, what I did run
into was quite a surprise, and a life time experience.  Over the period from
about noon til almost 5PM coming back by Bois D'Arc Conservation Area, I
viewed some 125+ Short-eared Owls.  The first spot was quite a surprise
too.  I was on County HWY EE, and about a mile west of Hwy 97, north of
Lockwood.  I noted a swarm of birds over both sides of the road, and many
perched on a corral fencing, field fencing, and in the road, and one on my
car dashboard.  Well, not really on my dashboard.  They were SE Owls, and a
few N Harriers parsed in.  There were at least 50 in this area.

I was able to get pictures with my little point and shoot that I use with my
scope, and digi-scoped several shots too.  The better camera, as usual, was
battery dead with no spare batteries in the car.  I will never learn to be
totally prepared.  I am a lousy photographer anyway.  As I birded through
the afternoon, I had more SE Owls at Shelton Prairie, Niawathe Prairie, an
un-named prairie a couple of miles away from Niawathe Prairie, Horse Creek
Prairie, and a few scattered from time to time in other areas in general.  I
came by Bois D'Arc CA on the way home, and after 16 years was able to spot
three SE Owls at the SW corner of the conservation area.  I was able to get
a picture of one of those critters too well camouflaged in tall grasses.
The area around Lockwood, and Golden City continues to give me remarkable
birding surprises.

Yes, I know I have a lot of CACHE reporting to catch up with.

Charley Burwick
Greene County
Greater Ozarks Audubon

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