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I was already planning to head up route 79 yesterday with my Botanical
Garden birding class for our fourth field trip, when I read about Dave and
Tom's good luck with pipits. So, we visited the Keeteman Road/Glacial Sand
Road sod farm in Lincoln County as our first stop.

From the pipit point of view, our luck was bad: almost two hours of
scanning the fields there did not produce even one American Pipit, much
less a Sprague's. The flock(s) from Saturday must have moved on, or found
successful ways of hiding in distant parts of the fields.

On the other hand, we did have scope views of the two "less common"
icterids that reliably show up in open country about this time of year:
Brewer's Blackbird (saw four for sure but there were likely many more in
the large, restless blackbird flocks around the area) and Western
Meadowlark (several seen and/or heard well, for good comparisons with
Easterns).

Up at Clarence Cannon NWR, Pike County, our best find was an immature
Harris's Sparrow, along the north-south road that leads to "Big Pond."
Otherwise, the refuge is pumping water and has partially filled some of the
wetland cells, and

  the duck populations are growing.

Bill Rowe
St. Louis
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