Notable birds: Greater Yellowlegs; Hooded, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers,
Bufflehead, Ruddys, Pied-billed and Horned Grebes, DC Cormorants,
lingering N Harrier, Am Golden Plover, Red-tailed Hawks, Wilson's Snipe,
Am White Pelicans; Red-bellied, Downy and Pileated Woodpeckers;
E Bluebird; E Meadowlarks
Our first brief stop was Collinsville Road Indian Lake where we saw nothing of interest except at least one Purple Martin on the line near the PM houses on the other side of the road. We continued on Collinsville to the Museum where there were a small group of Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, a pair of Wood Ducks, Ring-necked Ducks, N Shovelers,
Gadwall, Best bird was a handsome Greater Yellowlegs feeding in the grass close to the back parking lot.
Next was the borrow pit area across from the former racetrack where we failed to see or hear any Bobwhites. On Bend Road off ILL 203 Les and David E enjoyed a low flyover of a Ring-necked Pheasant scared up by a patrolling police cruiser before the bird disappeared. It may have been a survivor of those stocked for hunters. There were Song Sparrows along the way, one resident Red-tailed Hawk...we turned around after crossing the railroad tracks and headed for Horseshoe Lake State Park off ILL Hwy 111. The Lake was full of Am Coots and Ruddy Ducks, four sleeping Horned Grebes, a few Mergansers, Scaup, more Ring-necked; we continued on to Columbia Bottom CA in St Louis County Missouri.
At Headquarters we saw the usual feeder birds: juvenile and one adult White-crowned sparrows, White-throated Sparrow, Am Goldfinch, Eurasian Tree and House Sparrows,
Downy WP, T Titmouse; E Bluebirds at the corner, N Mockingbird. From the gravel road part of the loop were masses of coots, closer looks at Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked, Gadwall, masses of Red-winged Blackbirds and Grackles. We didn't see the RedHead Ducks that were present Tuesday or the gathering of E. Phoebe, DE Juncos, Fox Sparrow, Br Creeper on the short walk to the Confluence. Returning by the paved road we stopped for some close Green-winged Teal in good light and spotted a Wilson's Snipe next to them when they moved toward the water. A chance meeting there with the Johnson's who informed us of the presence of 40+ Am Golden Plovers further down, which we did find in a distant field before they flew even closer for good scope views.
A colder day, but thankfully the winds didn't get up to 45mph as Wednesday's had.
Some good birds and good friends along the way.
St Louis County
------------------------------------------------------------ The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum ASM Spring Meeting: April 29 - May 1, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri, http://mobirds.org/Meetings/sprmtg2011.asp