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Yesterday, I birded in Lincoln and Pike counties while my daughter photographed the festivities at Forrest Keeling Nursery at Elsberry.

It was a very slow day, birdwise.  Much of the area I birded had been flooded this year.

One surprise came, though, as I was on Rt. M in Lincoln Co., a little west of B.K. Leach CA.  I saw a dead tree full of dark birds very near the road.  I stopped, expecting blackbirds, starlings and cowbirds.  They were mostly cowbirds.  But, among them, with small beaks and forked tails were at least 6 adult male Purple Martins and at least 6 more female/juveniles.  Of course, the whole bunch took off before I could get an accurate count.

This is not a late date sighting (R & E, Birds of MO shows 24 Oct. 1983), but p. 221 notes, "After mid-Sept only 1-2 birds/day are rarely encountered and it is only casually observed in early Oct."

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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