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Hey all,

I saw Kathleen Anderson's post about American Woodcocks hanging around
Columbia, so I decided to do a late-afternoon run to Eagle Bluffs in hopes
to catch some.  I'm not quite sure how to get to where she pointed them out
on eBird, but I know exactly how to get to Eagle Bluffs! haha

I decided to check all the major CoMo haunts this afternoon.  Someone
mentioned Perry Phillips Lake being ice-free and duck-riddled, so I decided
to check it out first (being very close to my apartment).  The only bird
life there were a couple of Killdeer...all else seems to have been chased
off by paddle-boaters and bird dog owners taking walks around the perimeter
trail.

South Farms was likewise dead save for a few Killdeer and a fly-over of ~150
Snow Geese.

Bradford Farms was also dead save for a few Killdeer.  Noting a trend here?

Eagle Bluffs was *not* dead, although numbers were down and some were gone
entirely (Greater White-Fronted Geese and Mallards, notably).  I got there
right at 5 pm, so it was likely that (with the great weather) most
everything had flown farther north or was too dark to see.  There were no
big flocks of anything except Red-winged Blackbirds, of which I saw at least
500.  The feeders are still missing, so most of the winter songbirds were
hidden away in the woods or visiting someone else's property.  A few were
still hanging around digging for scraps: Northern Cardinals, a Fox Sparrow,
and a White-throated Sparrow.  Pool 2 was sporting ~20 Northern Shovelers,
which were by far the best-represented duck species overall.  I saw the pair
of Sandhill Cranes at sunset flying from Pool 14/15 toward Pool 2.

Most notably, at the very back of the park on the Sapp Track (I think that's
what it's called), I heard the distinctive peenting of some American
Woodcocks.  I would guess there were at least 6 or 7 given the rustling in
the grass, but I saw no flight displays to accompany the calling...probably
because my car was there (it was turned off when I heard them).

In all, I saw 27 species at Eagle Bluffs, so not a bad day altogether.  The
Woodcock was a lifer, which I would like to have seen rather than just
heard.  I might try somewhere in Hinkson Creek valley tomorrow evening if I
get off work in time.

Hope everyone else had a great day!

Chase Darr
Columbia, MO

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