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Smithville Lake is almost entirely frozen over. Only a couple of small areas where the goldeneyes and mergansers are keeping it open.
   
  Lots of Bald Eagles (I saw fifteen in one group standing on the ice). One Great Blue Heron on the "down side" of the dam. A couple thousand Snow Geese were on the ice at the south end of the dam with a few Ross's mixed in. Both Canada and Cackling Geese were on the ice on the north end of the dam. I saw five Double-crested Cormorants in with these geese. One cormorant was apparently expiring as it was lying flat on the ice (possibly from the effects of the cold and unable to feed).
   
  The only gulls I saw were the Ring-billed and Herring.
   
  I was able to see one, male Bufflehead and several Mallards in with the goldeneyes/mergansers.
   
  Way out in the middle was a very small spot of open water, with about ten eagles encircling it. I could not tell for certain what species was keeping the water open, but it appeared to be a very tight flock of around 50 or so American Coots.


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, MO
Buchanan County
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