The U.S. Weather Bureau said zero chance of rain for the morning of May 9. Lisa Schenker’s Grant School fourth grade class may now be as leery of forecasts as we adults. The rain dampened the trees, but not the spirits of the bird seekers as a gentle rain began soon after the students got off the bus.
Eighteen students were led through Rock Bridge Memorial State Park by CAS volunteers Howard Hinkel, Sandy Elbert, Kathleen and Harold Anderson, Lori Hagglund, Eric Wood, Janice Gaston, Julie Fisher and Edge Wade.
Birds seen included Blue-winged, Kentucky, Tennessee and Chestnut-sided warblers, Northern Parula, Acadian Flycatcher, Eastern Phoebe, Indigo Bunting, Swainson’s Thrush, Summer Tanager, Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, Northern Cardinal, Eastern Bluebird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Mourning Dove, American Crow, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Red-eyed Vireo, White-throated Sparrow, and American Goldfinch. An Ovenbird and Great-crested Flycatcher were heard.
In addition to the birds, there was much to see. The wildflowers were blooming. We saw Blue-eyed Mary, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, May Apple flower, and violets. Giant shelf fungus and mushrooms were interesting. A very large Missouri Three-toed Box Turtle was fun to observe up close.
By the end of the trip, everyone was at least a little wet, but we weren’t cold. We saw so many beautiful birds and flowers and interesting natural things that we were all smiling through the drips.