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
------------------------------------------------------------
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Website: http://mobirds.org/