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My wife and I went to Rocky Fork Lakes Conservation Area this afternoon in
hopes of finding some winter finches. We discovered a few Red Crossbills in
a mixed flock of birds along the service road that goes out of the parking
lot to the South of the lake. In the pine tree with the Crossbills were
American Goldfinches, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. We
watched them for a while, often having up to 6 Crossbills in the same
binocular view. As we were watching, 10 more Red Crossbills flew from
behind us and into the tree we were watching. Eventually everything other
than the Crossbills left the tree. All of a sudden there was an
exceptionally load shot from the shooting range at the same time a Northern
Flicker flew into the tree. We both counted 18 Crossbills leave at that
time. They were extremely vocal.

Also had a single female Rusty Blackbird, a single Clay-colored Sparrow,
and several Red-breasted Nuthatches among the other expected birds. The
lakes were void of birds other than a lone American Coot, a couple of
Wilson's Snipe, and a Killdeer.

-- 
Nicholas March
Columbia, Boone County, MO
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