Jerry had a BBQ judging gig in Butler (Bates Co.), so we packed up  
lunches, birding gear and an extra box of tissues for my raging cold  
and headed to Butler via a three day BDR.  Birded some in Camden,  
Polk, Cedar, Barton, Vernon and Bates counties, including visits to  
Ha Ha Tonka SP (meeting Jeff Cantrell there), Prairie SP, Shawnee  
Trail CA, Bushwhacker Lake CA and Osage Prairie CA.

Surprises/birds of note included:  Two Purple Finches--1 each at  
Caplinger Mill Park and Harmony Mission Lake CA; eight Pine Siskins  
feeding on prairie flower/grass seedheads at Mon-Shon Prairie CA near  
the Kansas line; Harris's Sparrows in several places (they really are  
more common on the west side of the state); a Loggerhead Shrike at  
Risch CA in northern Barton Co.; a few single Lincoln's Sparrows,  
several Swamps, and lots and lots of Savannahs; many Northern  
Harriers including four immatures who were doing an aggressive ballet  
presumably to the benefit of the critters below who had a chance to  
flee; real ducks on Butler City Lake.

There are some excellent birding venues in Missouri's western  
counties, easily accessed off of US 71.  We skipped several of the  
"big name" places to have enough time to sample others.  If you have  
the opportunity to head that way, try some of these places for a  
change of "birding diet".

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 24-26 at Camp Clover Point