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The Thursday group started at Riverlands where at first it seemed that the fog would prevent any birding.  However, the warm temperatures had created lots of open water past Heron Pond.   The usual large numbers of swans and White-fronted Geese were present.  There was a small flock of mixed Snow and Ross' Geese.  There were a remarkable number of Pintails present easily more than a hundred, and Richard Cole spotted a Black Duck as it flew in.  While we were looking through the birds, the Sandhill Crane flew by and landed among the swans.  There were lots of gulls at the dam, but only a few were standing still.  We did find one Lesser Black-backed sitting on the dam wall.  The ponds in Illinois on the east side of Rt. 3 north of the dam were productive.  Mallards, Green-winged Teal, and Gadwall were plentiful.  We also found one American Wigeon and three Wilson's Snipes.  There were also two Kingfishers.

Columbia Bottom had lots of ducks flying about, but very few would land were they could be seen.  Most of the birds in flight appeared to be Mallards or Pintails, but there was one small group of Northern Shovelers.  Land birds were not much in evidence, but we did have a very nice female Purple Finch at the feeders.  The rain and falling temperatures ended the day a little early.

David Becher

Saint Louis

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