I saw a few birds that I thought might interest others as I wandered around the Saint Louis area today.  On Dwyer Rd. in Saint Charles Co.  a short distance after the intersection with Church Rd. there were a few Rusty Blackbirds in a flock of Starlings by the road.  There was no sign of the large mixed blackbird flock that contains the Great-tailed Grackles that has been seen in that area the last few winters.  Most of the snow is already gone in Saint Charles Co., but I did find one Lapland Longspur with a few Horned Larks on Orchard Rd.  REDA is mostly frozen again including the river and there is very little open water and very few gulls in evidence.  When I stopped at the spillway there was nothing on the walls, although of course this can change very quickly.  I heard a few Laplands on Confluence Rd., but could never find them.  At Columbia Bottom, the best bird was a Fox Sparrow in a flock of White-throated Sparrows near the overlook.  A quick visit to Horseshoe Lake in Granite City, Illinois was unexpectedly productive.  There was open water at the Borrow Pits and lots of birds.  The gull flock was mostly Ring-bills with a few Herring Gulls and I could not find anything interesting.  However, in the back was a large flock of Coots which for some reason had attracted two Ring-necked Ducks, which were new for me for the year.  There were lots of sparrows and other small birds along the road to the lake including a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  There is also some open water on the lake which had a large flock of Common Mergansers and Goldeneye.  Mixed in were a few Ruddy Ducks and a pair of Shovelers.  I also found a Swamp Sparrow in the edge.  Bobwhite were calling  in the area, but I could not see them.
David Becher
Saint Louis
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