The rain held off all day Saturday as we birded Busch and Weldon Spring 
CAs in St. Charles County. By my count we tallied an even 60 species, 
and highlights included:

--4RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, in keeping with theseason's trend. There was 1 
on the Busch Fallen Oak Trail and 3 more in the conifers at lake 6. 1 of 
the lake 6 birds was shuttling between the conifers and a scraggly tree 
lakeside, apparently caching seed.
-- 1 RUSTY BLACKBIRD along the Blue Grosbeak Trail (BGT).  Nice scope study.
-- 2 PURPLE FINCH,also on the BGT. The male had a beautiful raspberry 
sauce colorand the female was close by. Just before departing she sang a 
short, sweet, syrupy two-note slur.
-- 1 SEDGE WREN at the Busch shorebird area.  I first calledit a Marsh 
Wren, but soon realized it wasn't. Christian Hagenlocher's good photos 
support the correct ID.  Certainly a late date for this species, but not 
quite a recordfor Missouri.
-- 1 BALD EAGLE over Busch lake 33.
-- 5 RED-SHOULDERED HAWK.  We saw 2 adults perched together at Busch 
lake 35; 1 heard-only at the shorebird area; 1 more adult perched on a 
utility wire along hwy 94; 1immature bird soaring over the BGT.

As I drove west on I-64 in the morning twilight, doing 60-MPH birding, I 
spotted1 BARRED OWL perched, in all places, on a sapling between the 
shoulder and frontage road.  That was near the Dierberg's office 
building, just west of Olive.

Thanks to Rosanne Naunheim, part-time participant Saturday, who tipped 
us to WILSON'S SNIPE. We relocated all 8 at Busch lake 8.  The flock was 
nervous, but we had good scope looks.At the same place, AnneKirkpatrick 
showed us the GREAT HORNED OWL nest, now uninhabited.

Also for the day:  2BELTED KINGFISHER; 1 at lake 8 and another at lake 
60+ CEDAR WAXWING; plus large movements of BLUE JAY and AMERICAN ROBIN 
across a wide area.

There were just a few chickadees for the day, and 1, along the BGT, 
struck me as a CAROLINA CHICKADEE: a petite chickadee with clean-cut 
bib, no visible whiteon the wings or buff on the underparts, and 
sounding an up-tempo "dee-dee-dee-dee."Also along the BGT, 4 NORTHERN 
MOCKINGBIRD congregated on the trail-side end of the "northern shrike" 
hedge.  They responded quickly to pishing, as did the sparrows and 1 
EASTERN TOWHEE.  We looked carefully there, and elsewhere on the trail, 
but did not see a Harris's.

Themammal highlight had to be the pair of WHITE-TAILED DEER wedisturbed 
-- unintentionally -- near the Busch shorebird area: an 8-point buckand doe.

Aggregate participation was 15 birders, with 3 of us finishing the day 
on the BGT.

Pat Lueders kindly volunteered to enter CACHE data.

And a special thanks to Jeannie Moe for offering us the hospitality of 
the WeldonSpring Interpretive Center where we had a comfortable place 
towarm upand have lunch.

For the St. Louis Audubon Society,

Mike Thelen
University City,
St. Louis County, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Spring Meeting: May 3-5 2013 in St. Joseph, MO
Details and online registration at:
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