I birded the Oxbow lake area south of St. Joseph this morning with Larry Lade. We stopped first at the banding station on the Missouri Western campus. They caught Am Robin, Hermit Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk while we were there. It turned out to be a good Raptor day as we added Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Bald Eagle, Am. Kestrel, and a Merlin around the oxbows. The Merlin was in a willow on the south side of Muskrat Lake, a location I have observed one several times before. I know Larry has seen them there a number of other times. Think it has to be one of best places to observe this cool little Falcon anywhere around! Some of the other birds we found included a nice bunch of Brewer's Blackbirds with some BH Cowbirds and Starlings around the cattle near Muskrat. A variety of Waterfowl there included GW Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pintail, and Am. Wigeon. We had Killdeer and some Yellowlegs there also.
We saw Pied-billed Grebes at all the Lakes including Lake Contrary where we also saw a Belted Kingfisher, and 2000+ Am. Coot. Nice outing in Buchanan Co.!