I had the opportunity to drive around the Lockwood, and Golden City area yesterday.  The Golden Plovers are present in small numbers now, and the numbers should increase over the next few weeks.  Did see a few Pectoral Sandpiper's, Lesser, and Greater Yellowlegs, along with American Pipits, and the usual large numbers of Horned Larks.  The area is quite wet with substantial casual water, and muddy plowed fields.

For those of you not familiar with this area, the small towns are about 50 miles west of Springfield, and the habitat that was once prairie, is now mostly agriculture with wheat, soy beans, corn, and cucumbers.  It is an awesome area to do winter raptors, and Spring migrating shorebirds, and painfully under birded.  Oh yes, an area where we can get quite large of Short-eared Owls, sometimes grouped together, and sometimes spread around the area in smaller numbers.  We find them up and about sometime during the day, and we never walk them up.

On the way to the Lockwood area yesterday, I drove by the Willard Burrowing Owl location, and once again it was a "No Owl",  We have had so many "No Owls" lately that I am getting in the Christmas mood again.  It was nice to see several familiar faces come through to see the owl while it was here. If you are coming down for any reason, and have time to view some of the area, please give me a call at 417-860-9505, and I would love to show you some of our better birding spots.  I too am a compulsive birder.

Charley Burwick
Greene County
Greater Ozarks Audubon

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