What a beautiful weekend. Family obligations and a bad head cold kept me from getting out and really enjoying the fall migration, but I drug myself off the couch late yesterday afternoon and walked up the road to Memorial Park in Jefferson City hoping that the bubbler would be attracting some migrants. I was disappointed to find the bubbler turned off, but I decided to stay for awhile anyway. Overall, it was fairly quiet (17 species in the park during my 75 minute stay), but I didn't have to wait long before a female Canada warbler caught my eye. That little bird put on a first-class show for over an hour, coming as close to me as 8 feet at one point. It wasn't a lifer, but she certainly gave me the best opportunity I've ever had to study any warbler. While I watched her, I also found a female American redstart, an oven bird and my lifer, a stunning male Wilson's warbler. At first, I caught only the quickest glimpse of him, but it was an unmistakable view of his head. A bit later, I refound him in a small tree and was able to watch him for about a minute before he ducked out of sight again. Two other notable sightings: a thrush species, which was too dull for a hermit but seemed to disappear into thin air the moment I got him in my bins, thus defying an ID (but probably wood); and a small flock of cedar waxwings. On the way home, I also spied a red-tailed hawk, which I had seen hunting as I walked into the park. It had apparently been successful, as it was sitting about 10 yards from the walking trail tearing into a squirrel in a rather indelicate but clearly satsified manner. As a reward for my curiousity when I stopped and raised my bins, the hawk lifted the beheaded carcus by the back of the neck, allowing me to see right down into the squirrel's body. I went home and had a nice dinner.
BTW: Last weekend, I missed out on the roseate spoonbills, but I did pick up a new yard bird: two female scarlet tanagers. I stayed glued to the window for a long time hoping for a male, but no such luck.
Amy J. Hoffman
Jefferson City
Cole County
Food helps those who help themselves.

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