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I saw some other neat birds in Boone County recently. I drove towards
Mizzou's Bradford Farm, located between Columbia and Fulton, hoping to find
some more fall migrants while I was away from home to avoid
trick-or-treaters.

I spent some time scanning a flock of (mostly) Red-winged Blackbirds by
Vemers Ford Rd—there were some starlings grackles, and cowbirds among them,
but *at least one looked like a Brewer's Blackbird*; however, I'm not sure
if some Rusty Blackbirds could possibly still have breeding feathers, so
I'm gonna look into that some more.

The southwestern lake had a few *Pied-billed Grebes* and at least eight *Ruddy
Ducks, *although divers are kind of difficult to count. At sunset, I
spotted at least three of what I believe are *Longspurs,  *but I want to
further examine photos soon to confirm the species.

The highlight of the visit was a *Short-eared Owl *that I saw after the sun
went down. I was about to leave when he landed on a pole in the field I was
driving along. I got some grainy photos, but the pics turned  out better
than I thought considering the lighting. There had been a sighting here a
few days ago (this species is a regular winter visitor to the farm). It was
really my first time to get a good look at one—my first supposed sighting
was last fall, when I saw what appeared to be an owl-shaped raptor flying
away at dusk, and it was questionable. This time was a lot more satisfying.


Josh M
Boone County

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