I was able to get in nearly three hours at Clarence Cannon NWR, Pike Co., yesterday before the rain began.  I found nothing unusual, but the conditions for spring shorebirds over the next few weeks certainly look good.  Large expanses in the middle of the refuge, mainly to your right as you drive in (heading east) along the main road, are quite wet, with a nice mix of shallow water, mud, and grass.  I was never out of sight or sound of a YELLOWLEGS (both spp.), and there were plenty of PECTORALS and SNIPE along the route as well.  Other than Killdeer, I didn't find any additional species -- no dowitchers, Baird's, or golden-plovers -- but the area looked great and I wish I could have spent more time.  Naturally there were good numbers of ducks, too, of the usual seven or eight April species.  GREEN-WINGED TEAL were especially numerous.

Roughly opposite the side road that turns northward to the pecan grove nature trail (which is currently closed) and far out in the wetland unit to the south, there was a broad area of very shallow mud/water that had something like 1000-2000 shorebirds actively feeding.  They were too far away for accurate identification of everything, but in higher scope powers it looked as if a majority were Pectorals.  I don't know how one might get closer to that area without assistance from refuge personnel.

I probably won't be able to check the refuge again soon (if at all), but I hope others will.  It's about time for Hudsonian Godwits and many other species to show up, and the habitat looked perfect.  In addition, there are BALD EAGLES (some nesting, but I"m not sure how many), FISH CROWS, and tons of EASTERN MEADOWLARKS.  The only downside on a Friday was the busy activity of the farm equipment, employees mowing around the HQ, etc., but this won't be happening on weekends.  

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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