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Hey all,

I was with Sandy Elbert's group in northwest Boone County yesterday and I
think our day went about as well as it could given the territory.  Marcus
and I are still fairly young/new birders, but between our collective wits
and a little help from Sibley and Peterson, we were able to nail down IDs
for everything we saw.

Despite the bad weather (for us) and at times excruciating wind, it was good
birding overall.  Going through the Bear Creek Trail from Rangeline Rd. to
Cosmo Park netted quite a few good spots, including SORA, SPOTTED SANDPIPER
(good given the territory), MOURNING WARBLER, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, and WILSON'S
WARBLER.

After warming up (somewhat) at Denny's, we took to street birding the rest
of the afternoon.  After getting into some hill country, our day count shot
up another 20 species.  Our first stop was MU Dairy Farm Lake #1, where we
almost immediately scared up 15 BOBOLINKS between two groups in the fields
between the lake and the road.  After that, we went to Hwy J and the far
western reaches of Boone County, where we found KENTUCKY WARBLER (a surprise
no-show in the morning), another MOURNING WARBLER, an AMERICAN KESTREL
hawking over a field, many BROWN THRASHER (14 for the day), and GRASSHOPPER
SPARROWS (4).

Final species of the day coming down Boothe Road were 1 female BLUE
GROSBEAK, a studly male WILD TURKEY (and his mate) displaying in the middle
of the road, 2 COMMON NIGHTHAWK, our sole PURPLE MARTIN atop a martin house,
and finally a pair of WOOD THRUSH still calling even at 8:10 PM.  We didn't
have any nightjars and only very little in the way of good habitat for them,
so we didn't stick around after dark.

In all, we eeked out 77 species (including 11 FOY and 1 lifer for me) in ~12
hours of birding.

Notable misses:
Any waterfowl
American Bittern (seen recently at Garth Avenue Nature Area)
Hairy and Pileated Woodpecker
Least Flycatcher
Prothonotary Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
House Finch

Looking forward to seeing how others did...and glad to see so many birds in
mid-Missouri!

-Chase Darr
Columbia, Boone Co., MO
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