My daughter and I got up at the crack of dawn -- well, actually, about 7 a.m. -- and ate our cerial, and then ran out the door and jumped in the car.
And ended up at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge.
It was a great morning. I picked up seven new checkmarks in my Birds of Missouri book: Green-Winged Teal, Buffleheads, a Northern Harrier (a juvenile because its belly was chestnut -- scroll down the link to see a pic of a juvenile), Pintails, Canvasbacks, a Golden-Crowned Kinglet, and Pelicans! Also saw the usual Shovelers and Mallards and assorted geese and two juvenile bald eagles -- we'll see more at Eagle Daze next week. (Actually it's Eagle Days but I used to work the event as an MDC volunteer.)
Also saw a bunch of coots and a couple of grebes! Coots are actually not ducks but relatives of the Sandhill Crane. Coots look like a little black duck with a tiny white bill. But big old chicken feet. They're my favorite. Grebes are cute too. I'm really starting to like them, too.
And Miss Thing scored a little sticky frog and a wood duck that, when you squeeze it, sings its song. And we went for a walk on the bluffs where you see the whole refuge all laid out below you, and once in a while the snow geese rise into the air like a little white cloud and settle back down on the water again.
So we made out like bandits.