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I have found myself tethered close to home lately, so I took what  
spare time I had to make trips to Smithville Lake (Clay Co.) over the  
weekend to keep tabs on migrants -- hoping for something special.

True to the season, the number and selection of waterfowl at  
Smithville Lake varied significantly over the weekend. Diving ducks  
were more in evidence, with about 10 REDHEADS present on Friday  
morning, as well as small numbers of SCAUP SP. and RING-NECKED DUCKS  
on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. RUDDY DUCKS topped out on Saturday  
at around 200 individuals, but fewer were on the lake Sunday   
morning. GADWALL dominated the lake throughout the weekend, with  
numbers in the hundreds. On Sunday morning, heat distortion,  
distance, and high winds made identification of most of the waterfowl  
close to impossible. Large flocks were coming and going while I was  
there.

Two HORNED GREBES were present Friday and Saturday, but I did not see  
them Sunday.

Two COMMON LOONS were feeding at the north end of the dam on Sunday  
morning, calling softly to one another between dives. These are the  
first I've seen on the lake this fall. If the pattern from past years  
holds, a larger flock of Common Loons should arrive within the next  
few days, and hopefully a few rare loons will follow later this week  
and next.

A large flock (500+) of FRANKLIN'S GULLS persisted. On Sunday I  
picked out only two BONAPARTE'S GULLS in the raft of gulls off point  
at the Little Platte park. One first-winter HERRING GULL was on the  
roof of the marina at Camp Branch on Saturday, the first that I've  
seen there this fall.

AMERICAN PIPITS made a few passes overhead Saturday and Sunday near  
the dam.

Kristi Mayo
Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
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