St. Louis Audubon Society had a very nice trip to Riverlands (a.m.) and Columbia Bottom (p.m.) yesterday. No rarities, including no redpoll at the Audubon Center, but a really good list of 22 waterfowl species. This included the resident flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE (est. 100), close to 300 SNOW GEESE migrating overhead, about 80 TRUMPETER SWANS (the rest must be spending the night elsewhere), six TUNDRA SWANS (mostly juveniles this time), and two MUTE SWANS, a juvenile and an adult. The DUCKS included every regular species except Redhead and Red-breasted Merganser. There seemed to be somewhat more RING-BILLED and HERRING GULLS than a couple of weeks ago, but we were unable to pull out any of the uncommon species. A quick run over to the lock and dam on the IL side, and some scouting along 143 heading back toward Alton, produced four WILSON'S SNIPE, a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and an unusual winter BROWN THRASHER (thanks to Mike Thelen).
Note: From 7 to 10 a.m., Ellis Bay across from the gas station was full of waterfowl, but these drifted off later on, and when we came back by after lunch, the bay was essentially empty. Anyone wishing to see a lot should probably get there early (or, perhaps, late in the day).
A full list of our Riverlands morning (including the IL side) can be viewed at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12819669
. The crows listed there (est. 450) were moving from IL over Riverlands to destinations unknown, early in the morning before the field trip started.
Columbia Bottom in the afternoon produced a few additional species for the day like Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Mockingbird, and Cooper's Hawk, but no Spotted Towhee. A large gull flock at the confluence held a bird that looked in some respects like a first-cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull, in other respects like a Herring Gull (which it probably was) -- an interesting study, at any rate.
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