Tom P. and I covered Riverlands today, 7:00-12:30. For most of that time we lucked out and had no rain, but it seemed that the rain overnight really put the shorebirds down -- the mudflats in Ellis Bay and elsewhere were thronged with them, probably well over 1000 and maybe 2000 (although our eBird estimates don't add up to that many).  We had 16 species, with counts from many hundreds (Lesser Yellowlegs) down to one (White-rumped Sandpiper). 64+ Semipalmated Plovers were counted individually, and 19 Wilson's Phalaropes. There almost surely were other species present that we didn't note; the fact is that there were so many birds all over Ellis that there was no way to examine or count them all (and the majority were rather distant).

We also saw the now-famous Virginia Rails on Heron Pond, at least 39 Franklin's Gulls in rich pink breeding plumage, a few Bonaparte's, some Caspian and Forster's terns, and a nice selection of land birds, although we didn't have time to focus too much on those.


Bill Rowe

St. Louis

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