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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