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With a hat tip to Chris Barrigar for his Otter Slough CA scouting report, I made a very long birding day Saturday -- over 17 hours -- and hit several areas in southeast Missouri, ending with 94 widely diverse species.

I thought I was onto something at Trail of Tears SP, watching Fish Crows fussing about the forest along the Mississippi River.  I made a stab at looking for a nest, but didn't find one.  The birds were noisy, restless and maybe, based on the date, they've finished with nesting here.

There were 3 Northern Mockingbird guarding the perimeter of the Cape County Cowboy Church in Oak Ridge, Missouri -- where I wouldn't mind taking in a horse show sometime.

I relocated Chris's Snow Geese, White Ibis, 5 duck spp. except the scaup, Great Egret -- over 230 of them -- plus I found 2 Scissor- tailed Flycatcher sharing irrigation water with egrets in a rice field south of OSCA.  Southeast Missouri is officially in extreme drought, and all of the big ag fields I saw are under irrigation.

Elsewhere:  Barn Owls, all 3 goatsuckers Saturday night, and 7 wood warblers for the day.  And I've decided I find two aspects frustrating a day like Saturday, notwithstanding the heat and ticks:  a)  time runs out, and b) I hear interesting but unfamiliar vocals -- just notes and portions of song -- where I'm only reasonably sure of an ID, merely suspect one, or leave clueless because I never see the bird.

The drive over US hwy 67, north of Poplar Bluff through the Mark Twain National Forest, is wonderfully scenic -- forested hills with no billboards, truck stops and only light traffic.  I stopped along the hwy at several spots to shoot for Pine Warbler.  Didn't find one, but had Red-shouldered Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, Wood Thrush and Chipping Sparrow just from the shoulder.

Mike Thelen
Univ City, StL Cnty, MO
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