I got to Riverlands on the late side this morning and found out about Chrissy and Andy's Whimbrels too late: a Peregrine had apparently sent them on their way. Nonetheless, there were lots of other shorebirds around, and other birders too. I personally had 13 species, but I'm sure others had more, as I missed Greater Yellowlegs and Solitary Sandpiper. This eBird list provides some details, esp. for the Short-billed Dowitchers at Heron Pond:


There was a single adult Forster's Tern on Teal Pond and a flock of eleven Common Terns visible from Lincoln-Shields, along with three Franklin's Gulls. Please remember that Commons can't be safely identified on the sole basis of dark outer primaries, as first- and second-summer Forster's can look that way too (although the pattern is less distinctive). To nail down adult Commons in spring, a combination of features including the pale gray underparts is the safest bet (all plumages of Forster's are white below). Chrissy and Andy reported later that some Black Terns had joined the group, although all of these birds had left that area by 12:30.

Heron Pond held a Snowy Egret (thanks, Chris Barrigar), and the Brown Pelican was offering good looks out in Ellis Bay, resting among the Whites.

Time was short and I had to run too soon, but it was still a very good morning.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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