Hello birders:   Our annual Baldwin Lake, IL FWA/Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area field trip will be this Saturday, February 10.  Below are the more complicated than usual details of this trip.  Unfortunately, snow is predicted, and the trip will be canceled if snow remains in the forecast late Friday night.

WEATHER:  Please check this website at 8:00 pm on Friday night.  I will post a yes or no for the trip depending on the forecast.  The areas we will be birding are country, agricultural roads with little traffic and no snow/ice management.

MEETING TIME AND LOCATIONS:  You have two options for meeting the group for this trip.  I will lead a caravan/carpool from the commuter lot at Hwy 270 and Gravois Road, meeting at 9:00 am.  (The lot will be busy with Mardi Gras parade bus traffic.)  There are two lots, and we will meet at the one closest to Hwy 270.   OR, you can meet us at the parking lot at the entrance to the Baldwin Lake FWA, the corner of Risdon School Rd. & Conservation Rd.  We should arrive there between 10 and 10:30 am.  

PROCEDURE:    We will first bird the Baldwin Lake area which recently had some good waterfowl activity including Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, and Red-necked Grebe.  We will hope to see all five species of geese and a variety of gulls.  We will then proceed to the World Shooting Complex, birding area agricultural fields in route.  There we hope to find a large variety of raptors and will have a warm, inside lunch at J & T’s Caliber Restaurant, or you can bring your own.   After lunch, we will again drive slowly towards Peabody River King State Fish & Wildlife Area.  This area is popular with raptors, geese, waterfowl, and hopefully one or both species of shrike.  If the habitat looks good, we will remain until sunset (after 5:30 pm) for possible Short-eared and other owls.  

WHO AND WHAT:    EVERYONE IS WELCOME, MEMBERS OR NOT.   Bring your binoculars, scope if you have one, snacks, water, layers of warm clothing, and your lunch if you don’t want to eat at the restaurant.   We usually do a few short walks, weather dependent.   

QUESTIONS?   Email me with any questions.  My cell is 314-359-9364 if you need to contact me on Saturday.  

Hopefully, the weather will cooperate so that we can continue the tradition of this always interesting and productive trip!

Pat Lueders, Trip Leader

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