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There have been reports of a Snowy Egret at Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area
this month. I've seen them posted on the main eBird hotspot page, and I've
seen one at the Buck and Katy Pools unit of EBCA a few days ago—I'm not
sure if it's the same one. But today, I was birding with my mom and sister
and we saw at least *five Snowies* at close range from the Pool 4(?)
parking lot on the first loop road. They were with over a dozen Great
Egrets, easily distinguished from them by their smaller size, black bill,
and yellow feet. Many of the egrets and yellowlegs in their company
eventually left, a lot of them simply relocating across the road over in
Pool 1. This species is uncommon here, and I think it's also somewhat late
for them to be in the area. I have seen Snowies around here only on a few
other occasions, and I have never seen more than two at one in the region.

I'm also happy with the arrival of more waterfowl here. Mostly *Mallards*
as far as I can tell, but many small flocks are constantly flying around
the area that are hard to ID without catching decent photos. The other
ducks for today were a few *Gadwalls* and *Northern Shovelers*, my FOS
*American
Wigeon*, a *Ring-necked Duck* (perhaps the guy who's been here since the
summer), and my favorite one of the day: a *Canvasback*. Earlier this week,
we also noticed several *Wood Ducks* flying around.

The sparrow variety has also improved this past week. Lots of *Song,
White-throated, White-crowned, and Swamp Sparrows.*

I'm anticipating snipes, longspurs, Rough-legged Hawks, and more in the
near future. I hate this weather, but winter's not all bad.


Josh M
Boone County

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