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Had a beautiful birding day today!!! Started with a guided tour of the Watershed Nature Center in Edwardsville, IL.  Sighted Tree, Barn, and Northern Rough Winged Swallows, a pair of Warbling Vireos, an Indigo Bunting, and a Belted Kingfisher Female.  Along with the usual American Coots and Gadwalls we heard a Wood Duck.  A pair of Eastern Bluebirds are nesting in an old tree and we found a Gnatcatcher nest and were able to watch a bit as they collected and added spiderwebs to it! Birds heard were Cerulean Warbler, Parula, and White Eyed Vireo.  We then headed to Castle wood and were blessed with an excellent view of a Cerulean Warbler, a Northern Waterthrush, and a Prothonotary (sighted 3 times in same spot as we watched!!!!) in a large puddle next to the concrete ruins the Prothonotary is known to hang around!!!  First time for me to ID a Chipping Sparrow as well.  We then made a short stop at Tower Grove Park and were able to ID Rufous Sided Towhee females in the leaves behind the bench at the Bubbler and a Field Sparrow of all things at the Bubbler itself!  We were also fortunate to spot an Oregon Slated Junco (female, evident chestnut coloring under wings on sides of breast) above a nesting Mourning Dove. All in all an EXCELLENT day for us!!!!

P.S.- I know it's in Illinois and not Missouri but if you have not had a chance to check out the Watershed Nature Center you are SERIOUSLY missing out.  It's a mere 1.5 miles around but is so verdant it's almost unbelievable such a place exists in the middle of developed areas!  Also due to the smaller size, duck and waterfowl viewing (especially this winter) is very easy and much closer views are available of these species than at other sites.


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