Hi Charlene, Jim and all,
 
Jane Allen and I looked for the Clark's (a life bird for Jane) three different days  ... Friday afternoon about 1pm, Saturday afternoon about 2-4 pm and Sunday morning about 830am.  On Friday, we saw two Horned Grebes and Pied-billeds from the dam, Saturday we had what may have been the same Western type Grebe Jim and Charlene saw being closely shadowed by what looked like a miniature version of itself (way too far to I.D. based on head plumage or bill color even at 60X ... It was a Horned Grebe (guess the scene is one which fostered the idea of baby birds being in their parent's image only smaller) ... and Sunday we did see the big group of Buffleheads bobbing around in a tight formation among the white caps from a pavillion north of the Visitor's Center and later from the dam.  We did not spot any Western/Clark's type grebe then.  Strong, cold winds kept us from spending much time at our scopes.  By the way, did you see the windboard parasail guys flying above the waves?   They were wearing wet suits, or guess they would have frozen. 
 
At 4pm Saturday we had split for McComas Rd to look for the Short-eared Owl fly-out-and-over.  What a show!  We had at least seven in flight at one time and as Jane posted, they just kept up the routine, flying mostly over the fields on the west (lake) side of the road, but occasionally flying low over the road and landing in the short grasses on the east side.  Many thanks to Linda for giving us great tips and excellent directions before we left St Louis.
Jackie Chain
St Louis County
 

--- On Mon, 11/30/09, Charlene and Jim Malone <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

From: Charlene and Jim Malone <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Smithville Lake Sunday trip
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Monday, November 30, 2009, 11:50 AM

Made a there and back ~ 9 hr round trip to Smithville Lake from St. Louis co.
Found ONE Aechmophorus type grebe hiding in a large group of Buffleheads.
We tried to make it into a Clark's but could not. Guess his buddies split...?
We could see that this bird had really chewed up wings as it rose to flap it's wings
but it seemed to have too much black on the face. In the choppy waters/overcast skies
bill color was not seen well at all even at 60x power.
Maybe this guy will stick around for the CBC........?

Doug has better birding karma than we do, so he will probably re-find "Curly and Moe".
Will tell Jim to hide the sharp objects before reading that post.
Second Smithville trip for a Clark's.......Clark's 2, Malones 0.

Trip was not all lost, got to play "Road Warrior" there and back in the end of Thanksgiving
holiday traffic...........WooHoo!
Reminds me.....still need to get the machine gun turret retro-fitted to the van.

At least we didn't hit a deer.

Good chasing,
Charlene Malone
St. Louis co.

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