Date: 10/31/17 8:54 am From: William Rowe <rowemb45...> Subject: Route 79, Sunday
Late posting: On Sunday, Oct. 29, my Birding II class and I covered several areas to the north along 79.
At the Keeteman Road sod farm, we had Western Meadowlarks singing and calling, mixed with Easterns (no views due to the early-morning fog). Westerns are expectable by this date, and the sod farm area seems to be a good place for them.
At the Plant Materials Center, Elsberry, we worked slowly through the pine grove and found several Red-breasted Nuthatches but no Red Crossbills. Nonetheless, it's good habitat with a lot of cones, and crossbills are showing up at various points in Missouri -- so I think regular checking there might pay off.
At Clarence Cannon NWR, we had a dark-morph adult Red-tailed Hawk, a form that has always been assumed to come from the western race calurus, plus several Brewer's Blackbirds along the entry road (these also are expectable by this date). Duck numbers were rather low, mainly because the road to Big Pond is off liimits to both driving and walking due to an ongoing project back there, but we enjoyed a good variety of other things such as sparrows, including Vespers.
All three sites are eBird hotspots, and our lists are posted.