After an early morning of banding birds at MWSU in Saint Joseph, I headed out to the "flooded soybean field" along Contrary Creek Road (off of 59 Highway) just south of Saint Joseph. The bird(s) of the day were 30 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPERS. That is the most I have ever seen at one time!

There were also about 50 STILT SANDPIPERS. Also in the mix of shorebirds were the "ever present" KILLDEER. Also, LEAST, SEMIPALMATED, PECTORAL SANDPIPERS, one SPOTTED SANDPIPER, GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS and about five WILSON'S PHALAROPES. For ten (10) species of shorebirds. I was not able to pick out any Baird's or Western Sandpipers. I estimated about 300 shorebirds present. They can be seen quite well from Contrary Creek Road. The "flooded field lake" is shrinking and apparently the birds are finding some "good eats".

* There were a few shorebirds over at Muskrat Lake, but nothing like the number of birds at the above location.

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