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Gail and I did a bit of cold weather birding today at several spots in St. Charles and Lincoln Counties. With light snow falling, we were treated to two separate flocks of Wild Turkeys in fields along Highway 79 in St. Charles County. Visibility quickly became a challenge, but we had nice looks at a small flock of American Tree Sparrows along Sandy Chute in Lincoln County.

Conditions deteriorated as we entered BK Leach, but we had the place to ourselves and eventually found a Merlin perched on stubble just a few inches off the ground. It's always a treat to enjoy a leisurely look at a bird I too frequently encounter as it zips past me on the way to its next meal! A Fox Sparrow perched at the edge of Norton Woods Road brought a splash of color to an overcast day.

After leaving BK Leach we came across a swirling flock on the side of Hatfield Road. My rough count was 22 Horned Larks and 35 Lapland Longspurs. One adult male Northern Harrier came out of the snowy fog and soared past, disappearing into the field behind us just as quickly as he appeared.

With just a little life left in my hand warmers, I decided to stop at Creve Coeur Lake on the way home. I found an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull loafing with the Ring-bills. I suspect it will spend the night in the gull roost, and still be around at dawn- on an even colder day for those who go looking!

Enjoy every bird-

Diane Bricmont

The Missouri Birding Society's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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