We braved the cold weather and went to Eagle Bluffs CA, outside Columbia, MO, late this morning around 10:45.  Most of the pools were nearly completely frozen over, and within an hour it was snowing.  Still we saw some very interesting ducks in the distribution channel leading to pool ten, opposite where the gulls usually hang out.  We saw a couple redheads, greater scaup, several common mergansers (male and female),  and one red-breasted merganser.   

Near pool 13, in the pool that’s hidden in the trees, there was a large group of Great Blue Herons, maybe 15, that flew off into the trees when we tried to approach.  

Near pool eight, there’s a tall tree with an eagle’s nest that was being tended by two adult bald eagles. They looked rather thin to me, compared to others I’ve seen. 

Also saw a lot of swamp sparrows in different places. 

On our way out, we saw two American White Pelicans in the main pool in front of the junction box, where the Canada Geese tend to hang out.  Earlier this month we actually saw flock of about twenty flying overhead. 

Finally, off one of the side roads we saw a large flock of mostly northern pintails, while snow was coming down pretty hard. There were a few hundred, I’d guess. 

To see my pictures of most of these birds, please see my eBird checklist:  


It was a rewarding trip as I saw several species of ducks that were lifers to me, perhaps because most of the mallards they hide among were gone this time.  

I suspect we will see more pelicans soon.  Perhaps the two we saw with geese will stay a while. 

Happy birding, 

Dwight & Lorinda Cruikshank

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