by Steve Smith, MOBS Board Member
First I’d like to say thank you to Ivan Ray for allowing us a to take a glimpse into his life and to visit with his wonderful family Anna Mae, Nelson Ray and Esther Sue.
What a GREAT first field trip for MOBS. The turnout was fantastic with 36 in attendance including the Miller Family. We met at Ivan’s home in Jamesport, MO on July 28, 2012 and started the field trip at 10am with a walk around the home and through the gardens. Ivan had a nesting pair of Northern Flickers in his Flicker box that fledged 6 for the first time since he put the box up a few years back. As we walked to the Purple Martin colony we also spotted a Blue Grosbeak nest in one of the peach trees. The Purple Martin colony had almost all moved on but a few were still present for us to observe. Next Ivan had a surprise in store for the group. He had 2 teams of horses hitched to hay wagons ready to take us to his Bluebird trail and pond and to view the acreage he is returning back to prime wildlife habitat.
While we were on our hayride, Anna Mae and Esther Sue were back at the house preparing a wonderful lunch for everyone that included homemade pie and ice cream. They opened their home to us and gave us all a chance to relax and converse about all that we had seen so far. Regarding the homemade pie and ice cream…all I can say is YUM!!
After lunch we all loaded into our cars and drove to Little Indian Lake Conservation area to view Ivan’s more than 49 Prothonatory Warbler nesting boxes. Very impressive indeed. While there, MOBS board member Jim Rathert spotted an Eastern Kingbird nest with one nestling almost ready to fledge. He flapped his wings several times, the nestling not Jim, but decided he just wasn’t ready to leave the nest. Both adults were close by.
All in all it was a great day of birding so thanks again to Ivan and his family for their hospitality.