Cruising the back roads around LoneStar Lake, through Globe Prairie, and to Overbrook WTP yielded a handful of sparrows and Red-Tailed Hawks of most colors and subspecies; Kriders lineage, Harlan's, Western, and Eastern. It is awesome seeing people get excited about birds, even if it is subspecies of our most common eastern KS Raptor.
At Pomona Lake we skirted the light rain and found more waterfowl diversity than at Clinton Lake and a nice number of Bonaparte's Gulls.
Near Melvern Reservoir in Osage County we found our only Rough-Legged Hawk of the day a half mile east of the Melvern causeway's north entrance. Few birds were on the lake near the dam but the Outlet Park below the lake was full of waterfowl. The surprise of the trip were the handful of shorebirds at the southern swim beach at the Outlet Park. Lifer Pie might be on the menu today for one of our group thanks to the fall Dunlin.
We spent the rest of the afternoon around John Redmond, Wolf Creek, and New Strawn WTP. While there were a few ducks and gulls at both of the last two, most of the action was at Redmond. The mist was heavy enough that scoping was a challenge, The Herring Gulls were first of the season for many of us.
For anyone that likes gulls or would like to offer input, we had a 1st cycle bird that resulted in conflicting opinions in the field. Here are the marks we collectively noted; the bird was only slightly larger than the nearby Ring-Billed Gull, the white head contrasted with the dark back and warm chest coloration, pink legs, dark bill with a hint of light coloration coming in at the base, the upper tail coverts and rump appeared streaked but light, the primaries black, and no open wing picture of observation occurred to consider the wingpanel for ID (that likely is a hint to the two species were were considering). The photos below were taken in overcast and misty conditions yielding a fairly muted color and contrast compared to our scope views.
While this is not likely a photo quiz that many want to participate in; If I get enough feedback and input I'll likely summarize the ID comments.