Five of us, for three an area bird, saw the C Ground Dove on the Weldon Spg Blue Grosbeak Trail at about 1pm (after Ryan?).  It appeared to be sleeping, then in one scope view it opened its bill.  Two hunters behind us were pulling their hunting gear cart and spooked it till it flew overhead toward parking lot and disappeared.  When I left to take care of some chores, I spotted the dove walking onto the path from the gravel hill and enjoyed several minutes observing it as it pecked away.  When I passed it flew back up the trail and disappeared over the rise.  It had been about my sixth try, not a life bird, but welcome.  It seems to have found a new temp home.
 
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
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From: "Douglas, Ryan" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sat, December 10, 2011 2:41:59 PM
Subject: Whestone Creek/Weldon Spring CAs, RMBS

This morning I briefly birded Whetstone Creek CA (Callaway County) at sunrise. It was very cold (~16F) and still. There were tons of AMERICAN TREE, SONG, WHITE-THROATED and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. No shrikes for me.

I was meeting a friend at RMBS later in the morning and was planning to bird prior to that meeting, but at the very last second I took the Hwy. 40 exit from I-70 and decided to go to Weldon Spring CA to look for the "missing" dove. I walked down the main trail and found the COMMON GROUND-DOVE foraging with some other birds almost immediately upon reaching the fork in the trail. It was ~20 ft. up the right side of the fork. I snapped a couple of quick photos (not realizing my camera was set to 'M'...sight) before watching it for ~30 seconds in my binoculars. Since the sun was behind the bird I backtracked and went on the grass trail near the pond to try and get around it without spooking it. I was past it and getting ready to return to the main trail when a very vocal German Shepard  (not on a leash, naturally) came down the left fork of the trail and spooked the dove. Initially, it landed on the grassy trail about 40 feet from me, but then the dog's owner came running after !
his dog and the dove headed west, over the pond. I spent the next hour walking loops from the parking lot back to the fork (and checking the area I thought the dove landed in to the west of the pond) without ever seeing it again.

My eBird list from Weldon Spring CA: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S9309637

At RMBS (St. Charles Co.) I failed to locate yesterday's Western Grebe. Bird numbers were way down from my last visit on Thanksgiving Day. I counted 87 TRUMPETER SWANS. Lots of COMMON GOLDENEYE and HOODED MERGANSERS, plus quite a few BUFFLEHEAD. Only one HORNED GREBE. Fishing below the dam was awful.

Good birding,
Ryan

Ryan Douglas
Postdoctoral Fellow
310 Tucker Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

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ASM Spring Meeting: April 27, 2012 in Joplin, MO
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