Have not been to Riverlands MBS, St. Charles co. for some
time and needed a bit of a break.

Jim and I found and carefully counted at least 20 (+?) LEAST TERNS in
the throws of courtship behavior which included
fish feeding mates, territorial behavior to specific spots, etc.
One can only assume if there have been eggs laid without
a closer look.
Most activity was taking place in one of the last bare rocky sections
of a large overgrown mudflat in Ellis Bay past Heron Pond.
12 birds were observed on the shoreline of this area and the rest
were observed amongst the rocks at presumed nest sites.
Another pair was spotted on another remaining rocky mudflat/mound
farther west of the main nesting area.

I say they were nesting FOR NOW because the water was rapidly(!)
rising during our effort at RMBS. Like past years before the tern
barge was provided for the nesting birds, these attempted nesting
efforts will be all for naught and flooded out by the rising waters.

My understanding is that the Least Tern barge is still in dry dock and
will not/can not be used for the 2014 nesting period.

Charlene Malone
St. Louis co.

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