I drove around the floodplain this morning and was surprised by the number of blackbirds I encountered. I had Rusty Blackbirds in three locations; 13 at the Church St. Feed-lots, 22 just south of Polestar Marina on Hwy V, and at least 70 in a field between Smartt Field and Sherwood Access. 

The Sherwood Access birds were not well assessed as the birds flew before I got more than a quarter of the flock identified so I am not sure how many there really were. Besides the RUBLs in the flock I also had a few Brewer's Blackbirds and Common Grackles as well as several Red-winged Blackbirds and European Starlings. When the birds took flight I had three much larger blackbirds in the flock, but I could not get a good look at them before they landed behind a berm; I think these three may have been Great-tailed Grackles. For those of us who have been frequenting Church and Washeon Roads looking for them this may be a good option. I am worried that the size of the flock likely indicates that they are moving north though. 

All three of the blackbird locations discussed above are on eBird. 

Tommy J Goodwin Jr., M.Sc., P.E. 
417-241-9189 | [log in to unmask]

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