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I attempted to take a spin around Smithville Lake this afternoon. Actually, 
I succeeded in covering only half of the lake. The fee takers are already 
out in their little houses; I did not want to pay $5 for one day, and I did 
not have enough cash for a $20 season's pass sticker. Therefore, I had to 
by-pass the whole Little Platte area and go directly to the Camp Branch 
Marina, where I bought a sticker at the Park Office with my credit card.

There were hundreds of cormorants and coots on the lake, but not much else. 
I did not see a loon, nor did I see many ducks. The lake is very low, 
exposing mudflats along the edges, but I found no shore birds.

The only birds of interest were 2 EARED GREBES at the south end of the dam 
and a FOY Brown Thrasher.

It was a bright sunny day, and there were quite a few boats zooming about. 
Scanning the lake from the dam a half hour before sundown probably would 
have produced more diversity.


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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