Good evening MO-Birds,

It seems there has been a lot of excitement in St Louis with the rookery while I was out of town and I sincerely apologise for not being around to help. I'm glad to hear that we all came together and managed things to the best of our ability. On the flip side, I made great use of my time in Manitoba. What better way is there to spend the flights home than reflecting on the last month?

I spent 27 days in southwest MB doing nest sweeps for a construction project, but I had Sundays and Canada off to spend as I wanted (3 full birding days!). I was blown away with how birdy MB was! To give an idea of the diversity, a work friend and I did an impromptu Big Day, with zero beforehand planning, that totaled 124 bird species on July 7; I'm not even sure if that would be possible in MO in July. My final trip total count was 184 species of birds and 21 species of mammals. 

Some highlights of the overall trip included: a male LAZULI BUNTING, a fleeting CHESTNUT-COLLARED LONGSPUR, a fledgling SPRUCE GROUSE, a male RUFFED GROUSE that tried sizing me up, at least a dozen YELLOW RAIL calling together with several VIRGINIA RAIL, LECONTE'S SPARROW, and NELSON'S SPARROW, several charasmatic BOREAL CHICKADEE, three singing CONNECTICUT WARBLER (I finally got a picture!), two MOOSE, at least four BLACK BEAR, a PINE MARTIN playing peek-a-boo, and a CANADIAN LYNX walking down the road in front of my truck. 

Riding Mountain National Park and Douglas Marsh were a few hours drive from my Site, so I couldn't resist visiting; if you ever get a chance to visit them I highly recommend it. As always, if anyone has any questions about how I'd recommend birding the area or further inquiries about my sightings up there please feel free to ask. I'll try to get photos uploaded to my checklists and Facebook within the next week. 

Good luck out there,
Tommy Goodwin 
St. Charles, MO

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