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Shakespeare wrote "parting is such sweet sorrow".  That is an apt sentiment for today's adventure for about 200 birders.  We checked the lock and dam, the marina and all points between over many hours.  No Ivory Gull graced Quincy today, but birders ruing its absence were often seen smiling.  Why smile when missing such a mega bird?  It was the pleasure of greeting and talking with other birders, renewing acquaintance and friendships of many years, among them some of who are seen nearly as rarely as all-white gulls.  And it was the opportunity to meet birders whose names were recognized, or who from their distant-state license plates affirmed that we who were there are part of an extensive community with shared values and goals.

There were people from New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas, Iowa and Kansas, as well as the expected Missouri and Illinois. 

The Missouri and east Kansas crew consisted of many well-known to this listserv.  I didn't get to see everyone, but was really pleased to see a fine representation of some very good birders and definitely an assortment of the best people of both states.  Iowa was well-represented with similar folk.

All were really disappointed, but there really were smiles, and they weren't all because of the excellent food at the Pier.  To all who shared the day, thank you for your company and your sentiments.  

Looking forward to our next meeting in the field, may it be filled with birds as well as birders (and maybe be a little warmer?).

Bodacious birding,

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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