Doug Hommert and I birded the Hwy. 79 corridor today. We did not see many shorebirds, but here are our results and the conditions we found:
St. Charles County—Dalbow/Firma Rds. Some habitat before the RR. tracks on Dalbow; however, nary a bird. The rest of the area was dry.
Lincoln County--B.K. Leach CA. The only mudflats were east of HQs/Machine Shed. We only found, coots, ducks and a few geese, including two White-fronted Geese. All other pools were too deep for most shorebirds.
Pike County--Clarence Cannon NWR. Although there were deeper pools of water, the mudflats were extensive. Except for yellowlegs (mostly lesser), the area had few other shorebirds—a handful of Pectoral Sandpipers and a few peeps too far away to ID. While looking at the peeps on the mudflats on the north side of the main road, we managed to see a few American Pipits, Doug spotted a Sandhill Crane, a rather surprising find. The crane was so far out that Doug didn’t even bother to try to photograph it with his “Hubble”size camera lens. We scoped it for a couple of minutes, when it suddenly took flight and disappeared to the west.
Later I drove to Hwy H. off Hwy 94. A quarter of a mile south of the Mertz/Power Rds. intersection, five Wilson’s Phalaropes were feeding amongst a handful of Lesser Yellowlegs. A Spotted Sandpiper was closer to Mertz Rd. Mudflats are extensive in this area also. I could not find any Bobolinks in their usual field on Powers Rd.
St. Louis County
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