Hello Birders,
 
Event: This coming Saturday's birding trip to Shaw Nature Reserve (SNR) in Franklin County sponsored by the St. Louis Audubon Society is open to all--members and non-members. Since SNR is owned by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) a fee of $3.00 is required for non-members of the MBG or $2.00, if a senior. We'll meet at the entrance/visitor center at 7:30am. The trip will be held regardless of the weather (I'm told Hot!).
 
Birds: SNR offers the best opportunity in the St. Louis area to observe nearly all of the species characteristic of the Ozarks, including river-bottom birds. We'll especially work at seeing Henslow's Sparrow and the nesting neo-tropical migrants such as Blue-winged, Yelow-throated, Prairie, Cerulean, Kentucky, and Prothonotary Warblers. Ovenbirds, Louisana Waterthrush, Northern Parula and Yellow-breasted Chat also nest at SNR as do both Summer and Scarlet Tanagers.
 
Conditions: This trip is billed as an all day hike; therefore, we walk from the Bascom House all the way to the Meramec River and back. Since we can never be sure where we'll be at noon, please pack a snack/lunch and water. There are restroom facilities at the visitor center, Bascom House and the Trail House. Water is also available at the Trail House.
 
Directions: SNR is located approximately 23 miles from the I-44/I-270 junction. Take I--44 west to the Gray Summit exit (MODOT assured me that the exit and bridge across I-44 will be open. The bridge under repair is not at the Gray Summit exit). Turn left across the overpass, then immediately right; the entrance is just ahead on the left.
 
Description: SNR is a 2,400 acre nature study area managed by MBG, which purchased five adjoining farms in the 1940s with the purpose of moving MBG. Smog from coal furnaces blocked out the sun in St. Louis City and many of the plants at MBG were dying. Before the move could be made, however, gas furnaces were introduced in St. Louis. The SNR staff has made extensive prairie restoration one of its major goals. Removal of Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has allowed many native wildflowers to return to the glades. Besides the birds, The Whitmire Garden, comprised mostly of native plants, is one of the many reasons to make this trip.
 
Leader: Connie Alwood. Please call me at (314) 600-4126, if you have any questions. I hope to see many of you on Saturday.
 
Connie Alwood
St. Louis County
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