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Mike,
As to the lack of reports from Missouri’s big “lakes”:

Have you been to the Lake of the Ozarks?  This utility-built (the former
Union Electric) artificial impoundment has few areas with undisturbed
habitat favored by most birds.  A few areas that would qualify are
difficult to access--miles of roads to get from one cove (privately
owned) to another--equally privately owned.  Very few areas are devoid
of the monstrous-motored crafts zipping along at a gazillion knots,
often piloted by the sotted who get kicks out of aiming at any group of
coots in the way.

Other Missouri "lakes", CofE wonders of three-use (flood control, power
production, recreation--all contradictory in water management) are also
difficult to access in more than a few places, although there are public
access points.  Top that with the local pride and Corps policy of a
manicured shoreline--no brush touches the lake water, no siree!  What
habitat?

And remember, these are not ponds.  They are very large impoundments
with miles of water along flooded former water courses.  Few birders
have boats capable of searching these waters the way we can do land
areas with vehicles.

There are far fewer reports from the "lakes" than the St. Louis area
because there are very few birders per square mile in these areas, and
there are very many miles--most of it very unproductive in habitat.

There are loon populations in the winter--the most famous was the
Yellow-billed that frequented Table Rock in the 90s--Common Loons are
often at the State Park.

Stockton "Lake" often has a good wintering population of loons, grebes,
etc.  Ever been there?  Probably not.  It's a fair piece from just about
anywhere--probably not a birder living within 30 miles, maybe 50.  Not
the greatest roads, especially in winter.  It's a major outing, even
from Springfield, to get to the deep water part.

I try to get there at least once a winter--wish I could manage it more
often--others should go.  There is a description of the area and
directions to it in ASM's birdfinding guide.

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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