Fourteen people (I think) enjoyed a fun morning of birding in western Boone and central Howard Co.
Surprises at Dairy Farm Lake #3 included a Mute Swan. One has been seen here in the past on occasion, and thought to be from a farm nearby on the south side of Old Hwy. 40.
Also there were about 150 Canada Geese, including some Interior subspecies, at least 8 Cackling Geese, a female Canvasback, a female Lesser Scaup, some Gadwall, and a blue phase Snow Goose not seen until the geese rose off the water in response to our jaunt to find the Wilson's Snipe Laura Hillman saw fly as we drove up.
At Dairy Farm Lake #1 were 250 Canada Geese (some probably among those we drove off #3) and a Ruddy Duck.
Peters Lake was regrettably devoid of waterfowl (the boat loading off the lake when we arrived may have had some effect).
At D.C. Rogers we found 2 Ring-billed Gulls, a sitting Bald Eagle, a Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawks, several Red-headed Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Cedar Waxwings, many robins, some juncos, blue jays, and among a mixed flock of blackbirds at least 10 Rusty Blackbirds.
The refreshments and great book browsing at Possum Haw Bookstore on the Fayette Square were welcome rewards for our birding efforts.
December 7, Tuesday morning
COLUMBIA AUDUBON NATURE SANCTUARY
Leaders: Bill Mees & Howard Hinkel 445-7781
Meet: 8:30 a.m. at the CANS entrance at the stub of Cunningham Dr., off Bray. Bray goes west from Fairview Rd. between Rollins and Chapel Hill.
We will walk the new trail, learn about the nature sanctuary, and identify and count the birds seen to add to the developing CANS checklist. Beginners are especially welcome. Experienced birders will help with i.d., binocular use, and offer birding tips.
We anticipate finishing the walk about 10:00.
December 12, Sunday afternoon
MU HORTICULTURE & AGROFORESTRY RESEARCH CENTER (HARC), Howard Co.
Depart:12:30 p.m. from the southwest corner of the Parkade parking lot (Bus. Loop 70, near the big sign)
HARC is a 660-acre farm that includes several experimental fruit and nut orchards; forest farming, riparian buffer and silvopasture demonstrations; forage shade trials; greenhouses; a flood tolerance laboratory; five lakes and ponds and one of Missouri's oldest brick homes, the 1819 Thomas Hickman House. The farm, set in the beautiful, rolling Missouri River hills, is also the U.S. National Arboretum Midwest Plant Research and Education Site.
Our goal is to search the pine trees for crossbills (unlikely), Long-eared Owls (possible) and Red-breasted Nuthatches (stronger possibility).
Participants should dress for being outside and hiking. Bring beverages and snacks.
Plan for a return to Columbia when daylight fades.
CAS Field Trip Coordinator