Outing to Dresser Island, 130413

April 17, 2013

My email to Mike Grant (in charge of birding/field trips, Audubon Society of St.Louis):

Hi Mike!

I saw this message below, too late…I did try on Saturday morning, but you were already out, and I am afraid I disturbed your family.

I did not get any response to my posting on the Audubon Society’s FB page, as Mitch had suggested I do. My friend Ruth Hartsell, whom I met a couple of months ago on the monthly Forest Park beginners’ birdwalk, kindly agreed to give me a ride, and I decided we’d go to Dresser Island on our own, but since we could not leave early, we reached only as one group was actually coming out to the parking lot. One lady was kind enough to tell us about the Riverland part of the outing, but Ruth wanted to walk the trail at Dresser Island.

My problem is that if I do not go with more knowledgeable people, I am not able to id many of the birds that I see, or learn much from the outing.

It was only because the other lady showed me her list (where “Pectoral Sandpiper” was written), that I was able to id the bird when I saw it, after googling for the name. In spite of this (and in spite of reaching so late!) we did have an interesting time at Dresser Island. We got to Riverland Audubon only by about 5pm, and everyone else had left, but Mr Mugac (I am not sure if I have the spelling right) was locking up, and let us have a look around.He told us about a possible Bald Eagle sighting further up, near the fishermen’s area on the dam, but we were not lucky.

We were not able to do much birding because of the crowd of fishermen, and returned home, well satisfied with our outing. I did manage to spot a few common butterflies, and am struggling with some id’s there, too.

Since I will be here for a few more months, I wanted to know if I could somehow reach out to other Audubon Society members who reside in the U City area, and ask if I can take a ride with one of them, splitting the fuel costs. In Bangalore, where I live, we are very conscious of our carbon footprint, and ensure that we are at least four to a car. I’d like to know if you have similar initiatives here, too.

Here is my bird list from the day:

Bluebird, Eastern Cardinal, Northern Chickadee Coot, American Cormorant, I do not know which one Egret, Great Egret, Snowy Flicker, Northern Gull, un id (near the dam) Hawk, Cooper’s (Or it could be Sharp-shinned, I am not sure) Hawk, Red-tailed Heron, Great Blue Jay, Blue Junco, Dark-eyed Kestrel, American Mallard Mockingbird, Northern Pelican, American Phoebe, Eastern Sandpiper, Pectoral Sapsucker, Yellow-bellied Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrow, White-throated Teal, Blue-winged Titmouse, Tufted Vulture, Turkey Warbler, several un id Waterfowl, several un id. Woodpecker, Red-headed Wren, Carolina Wren, House

It was wonderful to see the numbers of Pelicans in both the water and the sky, soaring in widening circles as they climbed:

For my photos of the outing,

click here

I would be very grateful if you could let me know how I could go for outings with other, more experienced birders, and learn more. I do not have a car, and many locations are not accessible by public transport of any kind. So I tend to make the most of St.Louis’ parks, especially Forest Park, which I walk to. I am free only on weekends, as I am here to look after my grandchild while my daughter goes to work :)

With many thanks, and hoping to be able to participate in more of the outings, Yours truly