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Jerry and I ran away from home Friday.  We took US 63 south and  
hopped around CACHE sites in Phelps, Texas, Howell, Oregon and Ozark  
counties.  We went to some small and some huge conservation areas,  
some tiny and some big, very busy accesses, and some isolated tower  
sites.  It was a melange only birders could enjoy with temperatures  
in the upper 90s.

There were site surprises (really neat places that will show up in  
future Birders' Guide to Missouri Public Lands descriptions), and  
some fun finds (nothing outstanding, but find to watch).  There was  
at least one new species at nearly every stop.  What a diverse state  
we have!

There was a Peregrine Falcon at the South Prong [of the Jack's Fork]  
Access.  It came from high on the bluff on the far side of the river  
and flew rather low, directly overhead. I didn't expect the falcon in  
extreme southern MO in July.

We had several looks at a variety of warblers--all expected breeders,  
but fun to find a Louisiana Waterthrush bobbing along a gravel road a  
couple hundred yards from a creek, or a Black-and-White Warbler  
working along a tree trunk below a Northern Parula.

And about Parulas... we had more than one high up on hills far  
removed from water and sycamores.  I need to re-think Northern Parula  
expectations.

A Wood Thrush singing today at a tower site in Phelps Co. was a  
pleasant surprise. Pine Warblers graced most tower sites.

Black Vultures were gathered feasting on offal along the shoreline of  
the flooded Norfork Lake at the Hwy. 160 crossing.  We saw only  
Turkey Vultures elsewhere.

Yellow-billed Cuckoos were at nearly every site.

Carolina Wrens are doing well in these counties.

All will be entered into the CACHE database, but it will take a while.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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