Spring Greetings!
Yesterday after work, I made a brief trip to Otter Slough CA where upon my arrival at the northwest corner (Pool #34) a medium-sized raptor looking bird with scimitar-shaped wings in flight caught my attention. I watched on as a Peregrine Falcon made several half-hearted attempts swooping in and stirring up the Teal and shorebirds present in the shallow water of Pool # 34. I was able to walk down the two-track and digiscope the falcon after it perched atop a leafless branch at the corner of the private woods adjacent to Pool #34.
As I was walking back to my truck, I turned in time to see the perched falcon fly from it's perch and saw a second Peregrine Falcon over the trees. It was is they were taking turns stirring up the waterfowl/shorebirds.
On the south end of Otter Slough CA in Pool # R9, there are literally thousands of shorebirds, several hundred Long-billed Dowitchers, Dunlin, Pectoral and Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs. I was able to pick out two Wilson's Phalaropes; there are still good numbers of Semi-palmated Plovers. I believe there was one White-rumped Sandpiper (black legs) . . . still need to confirm with a guide for other details. All the small peeps I saw had yellow-green legs . . . Least Sandpipers.
Pool #13 (immediately south of Cypress Lake along Conservation Lane) had hundreds of shorebirds here as well, but a Cooper's Hawk kept stirring them up.
Three (minimum) Willet's in Pool #29 along with a weird large shorebird that appeared to be Willet-like - possibly leucistic (lacking pigment in legs and bill). A Caspian Tern was also present in Pool #29. Black-necked Stilts were widespread across the entire area where there is still standing water.
At the Cul-De-Sac Area, I observed a cruising Sharp-shinned Hawk. Also present in the way of raptors were 4 Northern Harriers, 6 Bald Eagles (including 2 young in nest), and two Red-tailed Hawks - one of which was a Krider's.
At dusk, a minimum of 13 Black-crowned Night Herons arose from their roosts over Otter Lake and were easily observed flying over the water from the vantage point of the observation plaform behind the HQ building.
76 species observed (not counting possible White-rumped Sandpiper) and only four warbler species in about 3 hours time. It was a good albeit windy evening afield
Great Spring Birding!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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ASM Spring Meeting in Joplin, April 27-29. Field trips to grasslands, chert glades, savannahs, riparian streams, wetlands, upland oak/hickory forest, and pines in the southwest. Details and Online Registration.