I went down to the McBaine bottoms of the MO River, southern Boone County, around 4:45 pm this evening, then popped into Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area briefly and was back out to the spot Jean describes by 5:15. On the way in I saw several thousand Mallards, although most were flying overhead with only about 500 on the ground. Those on the ground were feeding and acting as though the passing cars were disturbing them since they all soon flew away. Among the many Mallards I did find one American Black Duck. When I left EBCA the Mallards were all gone, perhaps due to an adult Bald Eagle cruising over the area. I did see one Short-eared Owl fly north to south high over the area just west of Perche Creek. That was a bit of a surprise.

 

Good birding, Susan

 

Susan Hazelwood

MOBirds-L Co-Owner

Columbia, MO

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From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jean Leonatti
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 11:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Mallards near Eagle Bluffs

 

Late yesterday afternoon I took my Dad for a drive and we ended up at Eagle Bluffs.   Just after we turned off the paved road past McBaine,   the fields on both sides of the gravel road were FILLED with Mallards (thousand upon thousands) and much smaller numbers of Canada Geese.   The interesting thing was that the mallards were constantly WALKING, in every which direction --- not really pecking at the ground, nor getting up in flight,  but simply milling around in mass, in constant motion.   It looked like a compacted army of very big ants in constant motion – or a patchwork quilt that was moving on the ground.  Even my 86 year old father who has dementia said “that’s the weirdest thing I have ever seen!”

 

 

Jean Leonatti
Boone County, Columbia, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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