Gorgeous Chilly Sunshine today at Riverlands and Columbia Bottom.  I started at Teal Pond and was excited to see a few:

Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Northern Shoveler
Hooded Merganser

then I drove on a little ways and found:

White Pelican (large flock of 40)
Canvasbacks - 30
Bufflehead - 8
Eagles - 50 or so
Ruddy Duck - 8
More Common Mergansers - 20 or so

I ran into a woman who told me a lovely story about turning her grandson onto birding.  She suggested he write his findings/notes in the field guide she'd given to him -  and he thought she'd spoke sacrilege.  

At Ellis Island and Nearby:

Hooded Mergansers - 4
Lesser Scaup - 2
Ruddy Duck - 8
Gadwall - 8
Mallards - many

And then onto Columbia Bottoms, where I took the gravel path into heaven...the ice had all melted and the ducks were gorgeous against the tall grasses...and I got to follow a friend around (he tried to help me find Bobwhite early on, but no luck...I have yet to see one - any suggestions?) and find:

Black Duck (one pair - a lifer for me)
Green Wing Teal - 3 pair or more
American Wigeon - 2 pair
Northern Pintail - too numerous to count
Northern Shoveler - too numerous to count
Mallards - too many to count
Gadwall - numerous
Horned Larks - one every 10 feet in short stubby stalk fields :)
Norther Harrier - the gorgeous silver/gray male
Eagle - 2
Kestrel - 1
Cooper's Hawk - 1
Trumpeter Swans - 30
Great Blue Heron - 1
Canada Geese - too numerous to count
Eastern Towhee - the female, hurray!
Fox Sparrow - 6
Tufted Titmouse - here and there
Chickadees - here and there
White-crowned Sparrows - a few at the feeders, some near the boadwalk
White-throated Sparrows - same as above
Eurasian Tree Sparrows - same as above
American Tree Sparrow - same
Field Sparrow - in the fields - couldn't count...
Swamp Sparrow - same 
Savannah Sparrow - same
Dark-eyed Juncos - here and there
Mocking Bird - 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 4
Hairy Woodpecker - 1
Meadowlarks - 2 - dueting...
Blue Jays - 1
Cardinals - 7
Red-winged Blackbirds - (besides the early sighting of hundreds early in the afternoon, there was at least one singing from the top of a tree every 30 feet or so by the end of the day...are they declaring turf/attracting females already?)

Near the end of the day, I ran into more lovely people who told me about some distressing news about a Casino trying to be built at Columbia Bottoms.  I will address this in a separate post.

Chrissy McClarren
St. Louis Ciy
[log in to unmask] 


The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
List archives: