A gorgeous day yesterday in Forest Park yielded some less typical duck
species.  Among the fish hatchery ponds is one long pond not used as a
hatchery or outdoor ed pond.  At the end of this pond close to Union Avenue
were a female Green-winged Teal and a female Gadwall mixed in with Mallards
and Wood Ducks.  The size difference between the Green-winged Teal and the
other, larger ducks was quite striking.

A high, soaring *Buteo *over the fish hatchery ponds was not positively
IDed but I saw glimpses that suggested a Red-shouldered Hawk.  The last few
weeks have consistently yielded Pie-billed Grebes and yesterday was no
exception with a pair near Lafayette Bridge and a female in Cypress Lake.
Cypress Lake also had a Belted Kingfisher whose splashing dive resulted in
a fish feast.  The kingfisher landed and ate his fish on a sign that reads,
"No Fishing."  The big dead tree east of the Franklin Bridge had a Great
Blue Heron as did one of the large dead trees in the Deer Lake Natural
Area. I saw seven Red-eared Sliders in three different spots, perhaps one
of last turtle sightings for a while with the approaching cold weather.

The day concluded with me leading the monthly, public owl prowl.  Turn out
was huge with over twenty people.  By watching in shifts and then as a
group from a distance, everyone was able to see the pair of Great Horned
Owls, Charles and Sarah, without disturbing them.  Highlights included
Charles ejecting a pellet and Sarah checking out a potential albeit
problematic nest site.  She used this nest site initially in the 2011
breeding season but changed nest sites after three days.  The nest site is
in a hollow in a Cottonwood but it is quite low to the ground and mere feet
away from the bike path.  Hopefully they will not use this site.

All in all, an amazing Sunday in Forest Park!

Mark H.X. Glenshaw
City of St. Louis
Forest Park Owls
[log in to unmask]
@forestparkowls <>

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