On Sat., Feb. 13, 18 hardy souls traveled to Baldwin Lake and Peabody River King Fish and Wildlife, in southern Illinois. With the help of "co-leaders" Pat Lueders, Mike Thealan and Mike Grant,we had one of the most productive Baldwin Lake trips ever.
Things started early, as a few noticed an Osprey in a tree as we zipped by on I-255, just after crossing the J.B. Bridge.
At Baldwin Lake, we saw Cackling with Canada's, and Ross' with Snows, for great comparisons. We completed the Geese Sweep with Greater White-fronted fly-overs in the afternoon. Surprisingly, there were virtually no ducks or gulls at Baldwin.
On leaving Baldwin, we stopped to watch the bird feeders at the first house on Risdon Road.  Mike T. spotted a HARRIS'S SPARROW feeding on the ground.  It perched in a bush where everyone was able to get good Scope views.
At Peabody, most of us stopped for lunch at the end of the main drive, while Pat L. wandered off and spotted a Shrike.  After much observation and reference to 3  different field guides, it was determined that it was definitely a NORTHERN SHRIKE.  Mike and Mike bushwhacked in order to get closer looks and photos, and observed, among others, the following field marks:
+prominent hook on bill
+ white patch above bill
+almost no black between eye and bill
+top of eye extended above mask
+prominent thin barring on underparts from upper breast to belly
+white upper tail coverts
+crown, nape and back uniformly light pale blue.
Another Shrike was found across the main road from the Kid"s Lake gate, which was a LOGGERHEAD.  Another good comparison,
We finished off a beautiful 37 degree, sunny day watching thousands of snow geese pass north overhead while we hoped for Short-eared Owls to appear.  At Last we had 7 of these stars of the evening show up, with one perching long enough for all to have great scope views.
Some recorded good numbers of lifers, we had a trip count of 58sps., and we didn't loose any birders.  A Good Trip.
torrey berger

John Torrey Berger, Jr.
500 North Broadway, Suite 2000
St. Louis, Missouri 63102-2147
314.444.7647 (direct)
314.612.7647 (fax)
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