Date: 12/25/20 12:08 pm
From: Andrew Reago <andrew.reago...>
Subject: Columbia Bottom CA - Harris's Sparrow 12/24/20 (and Dickcissels) - also need help on super high count of WCSP
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We've had some interesting sightings as of late at Columbia Bottom CA.
Short-eared Owls are back. Three Dickcissels popped up in a large
flock of White-crowned Sparrows a few days ago for two days in a row
between parking lots I and J, a Harris's Sparrow popped up in another
large flock of White-crowned Sparrows just yesterday near the
equipment shed, a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk was flying about with
numerous other birds of prey - Merlins, unidentified Hawks, and more.
What is also fascinating are the number of White-crowned Sparrows.
They are everywhere - literally - all over the entire area. There are
easily 400+. There are so 'crazy' many that, according to Josh Uffman,
they defy the highest and only count of over 200 ever recorded for
eBird in the entire state, and are 4 times the highest count ever for
STL County.
We'd be grateful if others would go and stop and count them, too - and
put the actual number in your report on eBird - or our count seems
insane to the reviewers. On one given day when we judiciously counted
them, we found large flocks at the visitors center/parking lot area,
the equipment shed area, at other stops along the gravel round, at the
spot where the gravel road meets the asphalt road, then at spots along
the asphalt road, and at the boat ramp - and we'd barely tapped the
interior away from the roads. All along both roads, we made sure to
keep a good distance between stops so as not to recount the birds,
since they were flying about back and forth across the road.
There are also tens of thousands of blackbirds - mostly red-winged and
cowbirds - which make for some magnificent murmurations.
Here's a link to an eBird report with photos of the Harris's
Sparrow: [1]
Here's a link to an eBird report with photos of one of the Short-eared
Owls and one of the Dickcissels:

We'll add more photos as we get around to editing.
Thanks for any help on counting the White-crowned Sparrows.
Andy Reago
St. Louis MO


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