Sharon Hatten and I set out this morning at 5:30 AM for a full day of
birding.  The highlights for us were the Painted Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, and
Western Kingbird all within our first hour at Clinton Lake.  All views were
so up close and personal we barely needed our binoculars.  From there we
headed to south of St. Joseph to look at Horseshoe Lake and Lake Contrary.
The highlights there were a large flock of Cattle Egrets.  We were excited
about this because it was the first time we had seen them in their full
orange-ish plumage.  Mixed in with them were four Little Blue Herons.  Three
were immature with the black and the white and one was a mature.  Later we
did see another mature Little Blue Heron.  We were able to view a Common
Nighthawk on a telephone wire just off 59 Highway and Route U.  Later, while
we were doing our route around Lake Contrary we viewed a Grasshopper Sparrow
and a Whip-poor-will on a timber fence post.  Between Squaw Creek and our
daily routes throughout the day there were numerous Indigo Buntings, House
Wrens, American White Pelicans, Eastern Wood Peewees, Orchard Orioles,
Loggerhead Shrikes, Brown Thrashers, Dickcissels, Meadowlarks, Yellow
Warblers, Great Egrets, Green Heron, Wood Ducks, Eastern Kingbirds, and many
more.  We ended the day with a 20 minute view from 10 yards away, a
beautiful Northern Bobwhite on an old fallen log.  He called continuously as
we took it all in.  We didn't leave until he did.  I'm sure I'm forgetting
something.  I'm beat.  But the end result was 4 new life birds for me, and 7
new life birds for Sharon and a mystery duck we'll be asking friends to
identify.  Not a bad day!


Christine Kline

Pleasant Hill, MO ~ Cass County

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