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I went to Smithville Lake this afternoon in belated search for the murrelet. 
It was not to be.

I did meet and have a nice visit with the Zempels of Topeka. They reported 
hearing a Lapland Longspur go overhead.

We stayed for the gathering of gulls and waterfowl at dusk. The gull roost 
is down to a couple hundred birds, although they were still coming in when I 
left at 5:23 p.m.  Except for a 25-30 Am. Goldeneye, some scaup, 5 Snow 
Geese, some Mallards and a couple of Horned Grebes, the lake was pretty 
empty when I arrived at around 3:00 p.m. By dusk at least 60 Hooded 
Mergansers had come in, and there were a lot more ducks and geese on the 
lake. We also saw one Common Loon and one cormorant then. The only 
non-Ring-billed Gulls were a couple of Herrings and a half dozen 
Bonaparte's.

An adult Bald Eagle flew across the lake carrying either a fish or a 
murrelet.

Though the pickings were slim compared to November days, I managed to add 
two COMAL species -- about 4 Cackling Geese on the golf course by the Little 
Platte Marina, and three SMITH'S LONGSPURS, which flew by at fairly close 
range while I was scanning the lake from the parking lot at the north end of 
the dam.

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
[log in to unmask] 

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