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Hey all,

First time out of the lab long enough to go birding in a looong time.  Went to 
EBCA and, as usual, left satisfied in the experience!  The trees were in full color 
and the bluffs looked absolutely spectacular in the fading afternoon sunlight.

In terms of birds, the place was pretty quiet.  No Sprague's Pipit, a few ducks 
were in the pools freshly flooded from the Saturday rain, but nothing unusual: 
Gadwall, some teals, few Mallards, and a half dozen Pied-Billed Grebe.  A lone 
Double-Crested Cormorant was making his way up and down the Distribution 
Channel looking for some friends (apparently finding none because he continued 
flying solo throughout our trip there).

Did spot 4 Wilson's Snipe in Pool 10 along with some Greater Yellowlegs and a 
moderate sized peep that only popped up long enough for me to see that it 
was not a yellowlegs.  There was also at least 1 (maybe 2) Northern Harriers 
harrying the blackbirds.

Pool 14/15 were pretty inactive save a small bird of prey at the back of the 
Sapp Tract drive that I'm pretty convinced was a female prairie-type (i.e. pale) 
Merlin.  We got some pictures, but the bird was kind of far away and 
uncooperative except for a few brief moments.  

Photos here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/101951503538560943493/EBCA101412?
authuser=0&feat=directlink

Anyone with a better idea of what this is, feel free to correct me!  I'm still 
learning (as are we all).

Cheers and good birding,
Chase
Columbia, Boone Co., MO
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