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Nifong Park in Columbia is a small place with a little pond, some  
grass, a tiny gazebo shelter, a brushy fence row on one side, a small  
shallow brushy draw on the other side, and a creek bottom at the far  
end from the parking lot.  Not much there.

I check it now and then.  Last September I was stunned by the  
appearance of a Veery in the brushy draw.  Today, the surprise was in  
the fence row:  a Bewick's Wren, where I've had Carolina many times  
before.  No Carolina today, but that may be due to the 15 mph wind as  
much as anything else.

Also on my "now and then, but regularly" list of small sites is  
Bethel Park.  It once sported a Surf Scoter.  And of course, there is  
that dinky pond that had the breeding plumaged Common Loon a couple  
of years ago.

So, just think of this as an ad for checking out the smaller places,  
now and then.  The little surprises are all the more sweeter!

Bodacious birding,

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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