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What a beautiful narrative of your afternoon, Diane! I wish I'd been there - hoping to head over tomorrow and see some of these birds.

Thank you for sharing your day - when I'm stuck at school and can't get there, I love hearing about which birds are where and what they're up to!

It also gives me hope for spring after some of the harsh tales of Nature's cruelty during the extreme weather. My first winter of birding, so accounts of bird cannibalism nearly caused me to faint more than once.

Hope everyone can get out for some sunny birding this weekend!

Janis

On Fri, Feb 19, 2021 at 12:40 AM Diane Bricmont <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
WARNING: This message has originated from an External Source. This may be a phishing expedition that can result in unauthorized access to our IT System. Please use proper judgment and caution when opening attachments, clicking links, or responding to this email.
I had some free time this sunny, 22 degree afternoon and couldn't resist the urge to spend it at Riverlands. I started at Teal Pond, which is completely iced over and snow covered. The parking lot is about the same, but I was delighted to find six Lapland Longspurs on the levee, just off the parking lot. A Northern Harrier flushed the flock several times, but I was able to relocate them each time, usually foraging with a few American Tree Sparrows.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S81914420

Ellis Bay is almost completely frozen but there were still Trumpeter and Tundra Swans loafing on the ice. A small open pool at Heron Pond was congested with Snow Geese. One lone Double-crested Cormorant was dwarfed by an immature Bald Eagle on the Cormorant log.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S81914592

I spent nearly an hour at the lock and  dam. American White Pelicans were bathing at the boat ramp, but the Common Goldeneyes stole the show. This is the largest stretch of open water in the area, and I felt like I was in a winter snow globe- a gently churning cycle of Gulls, Eagles, Pelicans, and Goldeneyes. The Eagles were active, and photographers did as much jockeying for position as the birds.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S81914858

I stopped at Teal Pond again and found two of the Longspurs still foraging with the Tree Sparrows at the edge of the gravel lot.The afternoon light was quite lovely. There were Horned Larks on Wise Road, and a few more Northern Harriers. I ventured over to Ellis Island, but the parking lot was in need of a good plowing. The lot at Lincoln Shields was even worse, but a large open pool held a nice variety of Gulls, and even more Mergansers- enabling me to get the Merganser hat trick.
https://ebird.org/checklist/S81915286

Diane Bricmont
STL CO



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The Missouri Birding Society's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
Archives / Subscription options / MBS Website / Email the list owners

ABA Birding Code of Ethics