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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