I went on down to Swan Lake, Chariton Co.Mo., this afternoon. Swan Lake pool almost completely covered with drying up American Lotus, so not much to see there right now. I did have interesting observation of Am. Goldfinch feeding on the large Lotus seeds however.
    Lots more to see over on East side of refuge on Silver Lake. There were thousands of American Coots, good number and variety of Ducks, plus Pelicans, a Few DC Cormorants, Gulls, Shorebirds, and counted 125 Pied-billed Grebes, but no other Grebes seen. Only saw one White-fronted Goose. Had 12 species of Ducks including  a few Red-heads, Lesser Scaup, few dozen Ruddies, and about 500 Ring-necked Ducks. Shorebirds were mostly Killdeer, Pectoral Sandpipers- 30, and Greater Yellowlegs- 35, and a couple Long-billed Dowitchers. Best surprise were Two White-faced Ibis feeding in shallow pool where borrow ditch is drying up on SE side of Lake. Best observation was a Franklin's Gull feeding with a group of Northern Shovelers, acting just like it was one of them!! grubbing in the muddy water in the middle of them! Interesting watching Common Grackle flycatching also.Nice to have the Refuge back open!
  I took BDR way back by Kaye Rd and Ranch Ave right at dusk and was surprised to see large number of Swallows still there over the corn field. I had seen very few Swallows anywhere today, but there were many 1000's swirling over the roost spot. Probably past peak numbers, but kind of hard to tell since it had clouded up again, making it harder to see them. Always something interesting to see outdoors!

Steve Kinder
Chillicothe, Livingston Co.
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