Who would have known that the weather predictions of clear skies and 80 degree temps would fall on the same day we decided to have a Hawk Watch event! We couldn't have asked for better luck . . . only that the weather indeed follow the forecast.
The southeast region awoke to a drizzly thick fog which never lifted until well after noon. It was a fairly blustery morning atop Knob Lick Towersite where visibility was a maximum of about 60 feet. Allen Gathman and Bill Reeves helped erect a Great Horned Owl decoy on a make shift 30 feet tall post which was most challenging in the wind. Good memories! Just wishing that there were some raptors attached to them. The owl decoy was barely visible from our vantage point due to the fog.
A quick look at the "updated" forecast showed that the fog wasn't to lift until 2 pm-ish. One thing we've learned that when birding and the conditions aren't optimal . . . adapt. So at about 9:45 am, Bill Reeves of the East Ozarks Audubon Society (EOAS) graciously accepted our request of him to show us the EOAS's nature sanctuary in Farmington's Engler Park.
The lower altitude and more trees actually allowed viewing up to about 1/4-1/2 mile. Bill shared with us the history of the Dr. Crouch Nature Sanctuary. A great success story of the cooperation between the City of Farmington and the EOAS group. Our hats are off to you folks on a job well done . . . so far!
For the Hawk Watch, we had a total of 12 participants including two from S. Illinois. Thanks for coming everyone, and well, I'd apologize for the weather but nothing I could do there. On Knob Lick TS, we had at least two separate flocks of Golden-crowned Kinglets moved through one of which held at least 15 GC Kinglets and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. In the fog, they might best be described as the "floaters" that people get in their vision . . . "only these were smaller" as Bill Brennan pointed out. Nothing out of the ordinary was seen at either the towersite or Engler Park (other than the hundreds of Cross Country runners).
Good Birding to all and to all a good night!
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"I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
" JOHN MUIR