The extension only adds about 1.78 miles to the circle, no where near 70 or
75 miles. BTW, parking lot 3 and the levee going south from it is just
barely over a half mile outside the circle.

Al Smith
Bridgeton, St. Louis County  (admin)

On Mon, 5 Nov 2012 18:38:39 -0600, David Becher <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Thanks for the explanation Bill.  I for one to not believe that the area
should be extended in this way for several reasons.  I do not know if anyone
in the area reports their area lists to the ABA, but their rules say that
any new metropolitan circle must be 50 mile radius from a defined point. 
There was a grandfather clause for existing areas such as Saint Louis.  The
traditional definition of the Saint Louis circle, by the way, is 50 miles
from the city limits.  I have no idea why and it does make for a very odd
area, since the city has a rather odd shape.  Anyone who wants to report a
Saint Louis area total to the ABA should use the traditional definition. 
Personally, I feel that is better to stick with the traditional circle so
that records and counts can be compared from year to year.  The northern end
of Carlyle Lake is a great deal more than a little more than 50 miles from
Saint Louis.  I have not measured it, but I think it is closer to 70 or 75
miles.  Anyone should feel free to bird anywhere they want.  Allowing an
arbitrary border such as a city circle or a state line to keep you from a
good birding area is just silly.  However, when I am writing the WGNSS
birding report I intend to stay with the traditional definition, unless
there is some really significant reason not to.  If anyone does not like
this and would like to take over writing the monthly report for the WGNSS
newsletter, please let me know.  I would be quite happy to let them take on
the responsibility. David BecherSaint Louis Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2012 10:58:27 -0600
>From: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Inclusion of Illinois, esp. Carlyle
>To: [log in to unmask]
>David Becher has offered a good reply to Bryan's questions about Carlyle,
and Illinois in general.  I will add what I had mostly composed before I saw
Dave's reply.
>Fundamentally, birders tend to want to see interesting birds wherever they
may be.  We live in a bi-state region, with some excellent natural areas in
both MO and IL, and so, in general, St. Louis birders have always worked
both sides of the river.  Each of us has his or her own preferences, of
course: I tend to focus my own interest more in Missouri, but not to the
exclusion of Illinois, which has not only a bunch of fine places to visit
but also a large and active birding community of its own and organization of
its own. (Sidebar: I would recommend membership in the Illinois
Ornithological Society to any St. Louisan, second only to membership in the
Audubon Society of Missouri.)  The same will hold true of any region on the
border between states.
>To create resources like lists and guidebooks, some boundaries must be
drawn.  Historically, the St. Louis area has drawn that boundary as a
somewhat warped circle, 50 miles in all directions from the City limits. 
There is no special reason for this except (I assume) that it was a handy
measure that included all areas that people could easily reach in a day
trip. Once somebody fixed it at 50 miles, there it remained.  Our St. Louis
area guidebook (Birds of the St. Louis Area: Where and When to Find Them)
observes it, and so have all previous area checklists, including the one by
Randy Korotev that preceded the new one by Josh Uffman, now on line at 
>Carlyle Lake is on most area birders' radar because it is our largest body
of water; as such, it holds a special attraction for birds that seek large
bodies of water, like loons, large grebes, certain rare migrants like
Sabine's Gull, and jaegers.  All of these have been seen on the Missouri
side, but more rarely.  Moreover, Carlyle also offers some great
public-access areas (two state parks, many Corps of Engineers sites) and
also a whole lot of farmland that provides very good back-road birding at
times.  So it's an excellent area for a day trip and for the prospect of
something unusual.
>Now, Carlyle Lake came into existence long after the 50-mile limit did.  It
turned out that only part of the Carlyle area, and only part of the lake,
actually fell within that limit.  This included the southern end and the
commonly-visited parks, but not some other areas farther north and east,
where there is nevertheless a lot of good birding, and where some rarities
have been observed over the years.  Previous lists have respected this limit
and omitted those few species, but the large parts of the Carlyle area that
did fall within the limit have always been considered part of the St. Louis
area (as Dave mentions).  
>Most recently, it has come to seem artificial to leave out the other parts
of Carlyle: they are available to us and are visited somewhat regularly by
St. Louisans, in addition to being covered intensively by Dan Kassebaum and
others who report on what they find.  These areas are almost certainly
visited by St. Louisans more than any other area that was previously outside
the boundary.  It has come to seem reasonable that our somewhat-warped
circle should be warped slightly more to include all of the Carlyle area,
and so the new online checklist does that.  That's all´┐Żnot really a big deal.  
>In practical terms, the decision to include all of Carlyle does not affect
any of the status designations in the checklist; the only effect is to
include accidentals that have occurred in the farther reaches of the Carlyle
area (example: Gray Kingbird).
>I hope this helps with the history part.  Undoubtedly there are some people
out there who know it in more detail than I do.
>Bill RoweSt. [log in to unmask]  (note new email address)
>The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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