Gary Johnson and I went to Smithville Lake this afternoon, arriving at about 3:30 p.m. They were letting water out through the outlet channel, and quite a few gulls were feeding in it. In addition, c. 100 gulls were roosting on the grass nearby, and a few more had started to build a gull roost near the dam. We saw nothing but Ring-bills. However, an active outlet channel and collections of gulls often provide an opportunity to look for something unusual.
There were several rafts of ducks on the lake. Quite a few Common Goldeneye have come in. Otherwise, nothing new.
No sign of loons or large grebes, but we did not look very hard.
We arrived at McComas Rd. about 4:50 p.m, and the first owls appeared almost immediately. By 5:10 p.m. we had seen at least 8 different SEOWs and at least three Northern Harriers. Three other cars with birders were there for the show. We did get one SEOW in the scope on the ground at fairly close range. Nice!
Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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