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I got to Shelter 9 at Crow's Creek picnic shelter of Smothville Lake
(Clay Co.) around 10 am today (09/18/10) and looking NW in the
direction of the Camp Branch I immediately saw the jaeger on the
water. I stidied the bird for ~20 min when Tim Barksdale and Nancy Leo
arrived, followed by Laura Gilchrist, Keith Brink and several other
birders. I only saw the bird very briefly in flight. Tim got some
footage as the bird flew after I left.
I could only conclude Stercorarius sp., but not a pomarine for sure,
so either a parasitic or long-tailed jaeger. My observations:
Smallish bird, definitively smaller than the ring-billed gull, which
sat on the water for a few minutes near the jaeger. VERY PALE head
with a very small and very thin bill (both suggesting long-tailed) and
pale nape and neck. The bird did some swirling when sitting on the
water looking almost phalarope-like maybe (only maybe) picking
insects. The overall coloration was very pale mostly grayish, NOT
brown. The head and the bill were too small for pomarine and the bird
did not look robust as the pomarine does. When the bird lifted from
the water shortly it looked long-winged to me, but I did not see it
long enough in flight. The bird sat very high on the water. Altogether
a VERY difficult ID. Kudos to Kristy for finding this bird!!!

After Smithville I headed to Blue Springs and shortly after arriving
at the address 1204 SW 22nd street, Blue Springs (see the original
e-mail from Ruth Simmons) I saw the rufous hummingbird chasing a
female ruby-throated hummingbird. Later I got good looks at the bird
at the feeder and perched on the silver maple in the frontyard as
well.
Good day of birding,
PK

-- 
Peter Kondrashov
Kirksville, MO

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