While not considered late having personally observed overwintering Orange-crowned Warblers before at Otter Slough CA as well as other's observations of same species at same location, I how Central MO differs in Orange-crowned Warbler occurrences?
Yesterday when I visited a spring fed pond at Saline Valley Conservation Area, I enjoyed watching the already flocking-together Chickadees, Titmouses, Kinglets and Creepers as they worked the wood line edges. On the far side of the pond where there are downed trees heaped in piles among tall grass (weed) remnants full of seed heads were Am. Goldfinches, White-throated Sparrows and a lone Fox Sparrow and DE Junco.
In thoroughly looking these over, my gaze cast upon a single warbler bouncing around low in the branches among the sparrows and goldfinches, an Orange-crowned Warbler (OCWA). It is my first OCWA for mid MO, but truth be told, I haven't really been scouring the woods here as in previous years in the Bootheel. I was/am so happy to have found this little rather non-descript gem of what I've come to almost "expect" during winter in the Bootheel! I think I will focus my efforts this winter to see if any are potentially poking around the Ozarks open water area woody edges.
Also of note: Sunday afternoon when most birds were napping or merely quiet, there was a Pine Warbler poking around the Red Cedar trees that edge Hough Park Lake in Jefferson City, MO. Again a first for me in Central MO. Just goes to show no matter what you might expect to see, . . . you could always see so much more!
We still have several Field Sparrows in and around our Central MO yard as are calling Eastern Towhees which are always a pleasure for this birder to observe.
May good health and weather, and better birding adventures be ahead for you as we soon enter this avian winter season!