Tower Grove was a bust--no Connecticut and little else, so Kathleen Anderson and I headed for Riverlands, knowing we couldn't get past gas station, but hoping to see Least Terns.  We parked at the closed off entrance to the road across from the gas that goes down to Ellis Island, and looking toward the river soon saw and counted 4 Least Terns.  

We were hearing seeing movement in the bushes on the north side of the station property, so decided to cross the road and take a close look.  That's when we noticed the tern breeding barge.  I had thought it was still down Riverlands Way where I had seen it years ago.  Not so.  It is now behind the gas station.  Standing in the station lot and out of the way of hordes of Illini getting "cheap" gas at 15 cents more than it is in Columbia, we got great looks at 28 of them coming and going, including one bringing in food.

Attention and eyes wandered and we noticed one, then a second Black Tern on buoys--very obviously larger and much darker than the Leasts.

We had a nice little list of a variety of species observed without being able to enter Riverlands.  It was worth the trip.

We had time to visit one site heading homeward and opted for Danville Conservation Area.  It was also worth the trip.  A spirited Prairie Warbler was a highlight.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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