This morning with the intent of getting a Wood Thrush for my 2011 Missouri Year List I headed down to Bluff Woods Conservation Area which is about ten miles south of Saint Joseph. It was pretty quiet there, but Indigo Buntings and Yellow-billed Cuckoos were found in substantial numbers. Being hearing impaired I missed some of the higher frequency vocalizing birds, but I managed 21 species for the area. Included were Lark, Chipping and Song Sparrow. Note: I saw/heard no Wood Thrushes.

The "oxbows" birds

Grasshopper Sparrows were observed over at Muskrat Lake. There was not much at all on Horseshoe Lake but one rather exceptional bird is maintaining its stay there. It is a female COMMON MERGANSER. All through the months on May and June this bird could be seen at this location (I saw it eleven times during this time period and would have seen it more but I was out of the area for about 1/2 of this time period). Early on there was a male COME with the female at times. Now I have only been seeing the female bird. She appears healthy and in good condition. Why she is hanging around, I have no idea. I have not seen any ducklings.

I ended up with 38 species for the morning.

Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
gcrownkinglet AT yahoo DOT com
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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