Had a wonderful morning at the Watershed! Here is my ebird report for today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARM42-eorzEThis is a great place to see a large variety of birds and habitats all smooshed into a 1 mile trail.I saw at least 5 little blue herons, 3 green herons, 2 great blue herons, 3 great egrets, and to my delight a flock of at least 10 killdeer flying about... not to mention the others on the ground,A nice look at a Yellow billed cuckoo and a longer look at a ruby throated atop a small sapling.This is a great area to discover the stages of growth that Canada Geese, Wood Ducks, and Mallards go through as all three breed here in surprising numbers considering the size of the place. A White Eyed Vireo played the fashion photography model for me for a bit allowing me a rare glimpse of that white eye (FINALLY!!!!). I don't know if they are rare around here but I was blessed with extraordinary views of a pair of Mississippi Kites that have been patroling the Center in past weeks, really able to see their white heads, and lighter patches of the upper wings, as well as the fabulous russet that flashes at the edges of their upper wings.They soar so close you can almost see the red of their eyes. I witnessed lovely hunting maneuvers such as diving and stooping (though no successes) and really got a chance to study their prowess at manipulating air currents (which is why they have the name "kite" I assume).The more common: Common Yellowthroat, Northern Cardinal, Red Winged Blackbird, Northern Rough Winged-Barn-Tree-Bank Swallows, Brown Thrasher, Northern Mockingbird, Starling/Grackle/Amer.-Fish Crows,Downy-Hairy-Red Bellied Woodpeckers. Chimney Swifts, Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, Black Capped/Carolina Chickadees (who can tell the difference in this area!!!!), Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wrens all put in many an appearance as well!!Not included in the "common" category due to the fact that I find them thrilling to watch are Belted Kingfishers. I have seen up to SIX at once perched in the dead tree in the first lake/pond on the entrance path. You are almost guaranteed to get fantastic views of this bird every time you visit!Great for beginning birders (due to the ease of viewing and the variety) and Experienced ones (as the birds are used to people running, walking, jogging, taking their kids, teenagers, and there is a bike trail adjacent to the Center so they get all up close and personal if you are quiet and birding).Not to mention the occasional chipmunk and muskrat and "unidentified weasel/mink like creature", I see deer about 40% of the time I go there (bucks in winter), squirrels of course but there is also at least one active beaver community there, dutifully damming the overflow and munching on the many available flora that grow there.I highly advise you to check this place out and donate a bit maybe (if the Visitor's Center is open that is:) ) and promise you won't be disappointed!!!!
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ASM Fall Meeting: September 26-28, 2014 at Lake of the Ozarks State Park Details and Online Registration