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hmm . . . did he see the bird dive????



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Sebastian T. Patti
(Lincoln Park)
Chicago, ILLINOIS 60614-3354
PHONE: 312/603-4416 (o) 773/248-0570 (h)
FAX: 312/603-2041 (o) 773/248-0264 (h)





>From: Kristi Mayo <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Kristi Mayo <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Possible MURRELET - Smithville Lake
>Date: Thu, 30 Nov 2006 17:54:43 -0600
>
>At about 4:30 this evening (Nov. 30), in waning light and over choppy  
>waves, Doug Willis spotted a very interesting bird at Smithville Lake  
>(Clay Co.). The bird was observed for about 5 minutes before it  
>disappeared into the chop. Doug was able to observe the bird on the  water 
>and in flight. All signs are pointing toward this bird being a  possible 
>MURRELET sp.
>
>Here's the notes I scribbled while listening to Doug on the phone:
>
>"Dark blob". "No neck." "Real small." Doug said he tried to turn it  into a 
>Pied-billed Grebe, but it was just too small, had no neck, and  was too 
>round. He described it as a "fat little head with no neck."  Like a "Nerf 
>football".
>
>Only plumage details observed (with the bird in profile) were of an  
>all-dark bird with white running up the side of the neck.
>
>After watching the bird on the water, it took flight -- or, as Doug  
>described it, "tried to fly". At first it resembled a wounded bird  that 
>just couldn't get very high off of the water, but then he  realized that it 
>almost "meant to fly like that". It had an  "incredibly fast wingbeat". It 
>would fly a short distance, skimming  the waves, then land again on the 
>water. It repeated this two more  times, moving from between the Litton 
>Center and Crows Creek toward  Little Platte, where it eventually 
>disappeared into the waves. Doug  said that he's "never seen a bird fly 
>like that."
>
>If this is, indeed, a Murrelet, and if it stays on the lake, it will  
>likely take a coordinated effort from a number of birders -- staying  in 
>touch with FRS radios -- in order to relocate such a small, dark  bird on 
>such a big lake. I believe searches of this kind have been  successful at 
>Carlyle Lake in Illinois.
>
>A warning to those who do venture out: Roads and parking lots at  
>Smithville Lake are ice-covered. We're not getting much snow up here  right 
>now, but that may change overnight. (Snow can actually add  traction in 
>some cases.)
>
>Doug asked me to post this information since it will be a few hours  before 
>he gets back to a computer. When he does have Internet access,  he'll make 
>any additions or corrections to my ramblings. In the  meantime, he wanted 
>to get the word out so ambitious birders/chasers  can make plans to be at 
>Smithville Lake in the morning!
>
>Kristi Mayo
>Kearney MO (Clay Co.)
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>
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