I birded all of Sat May 11 at Squaw Creek NWR, finishing my day there with 119 spp.  It seemed pretty birdy to me throughout the day, and there was much to look at and too much left behind unexamined when I had to leave.

Birding was fun around the HQ area, including a singing Blue-headed Vireo, one of four individuals; 14 Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a large flock of noisy Blue Jay and, when I made it up to the trailhead at the top of the ridge, 1 Sharp-shinned Hawk blasted over.  There were upwards of 2000 shorebirds on the refuge, concentrated mainly along the western edges of Pelican Pool and the Snow Goose Pool Complex.  1 Ring-necked Pheasant near Cross Levee 2.

Very Strong, sustained winds developed early; like gale force.  A large flock of 205 Black Tern, 2 Forster's Tern and 12 Franklin's Gull seemed to be struggling while feeding over Eagle Pool.

Ducks -- 12 duck spp. with Blue-winged Teal best represented, by far.  I stopped counting at 500.  No C. Teal for me.

Ibis -- 2 White-faced Ibis.

Crane -- 2 Sandhill Crane obviously together, fussing over a nest, maybe?

Shorebirds -- 17 shorebirds spp. including 40 American Avocet, 42 Hudsonian Godwit, 30 Dunlin, 149 Wilson's Phalarope, several dozen White-rumped Sandpiper, 45+ Short-billed Dowitcher.  A Peregrine Falcon was working the shorebirds and kicked them up big time.  No P. Plover for me either.

Warblers -- 10 warblers, with Yellow-rumped most numerous.  They were everywhere, from treetops in the forest down to short reeds sticking up out of the water.  One bird seemed to be trying to cross Eagle Pool from the boardwalk, but was forced back in circles, three times, by the headwind. 

Sparrows -- 8, including 2 Clay-colored Sparrow, 1 White-throated Sparrow, 3 Lark Sparrow, 2 Harris's Sparrow and 6 Savannah Sparrow.

Add to this 1 Blue Grosbeak, 1 Bobolink and 1 Great-tailed Grackle.

And of all things, one of the last birds of the day -- which was not there when I started the auto tour in the morning -- a road-killed! Winter Wren, crushed near the sliding gate by the education bldg.

I stopped at Whetstone Creek CA on the way home, hearing Bell's Vireo at 3 different locations, spotting a m/f pair of Hooded Merganser on the creek proper, and seeing again 1 more White-throated Sparrow plus 1 White-crowned Sparrow.  I added 6 warblers to my trip list there, totaling 141 spp. for a day and a half of spring birding in Missouri.

Mike Thelen
Univ City, StL Cnty, MO
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