Had I not talked with staff members, I would have been thoroughly shocked when arriving at Monopoly Marsh to find the water level dropped to about 7 inches than that of what it was Sunday morning making it extremely difficult to get the canoe launched.
Should anyone attempt to head out this weekend, I would suggest knee boots or grubby tennis shoes and a towel (carrying with them clean and dry socks and shoes for their return trip home) as you may have to walk your light watercraft out from the landing anywhere from 70-120 yards.

When I arrived at Mingo yesterday, I was following a couple T-storms that had passed through the area mere minutes before, and most the bird activity was fairly quiet in comparison to Sunday morning. However, I didn't arrive until about 5:30 pm, and avian activity was probably winding down.
That said, I was unable to relocate (sight or sound) the Purple Gallinule; however, I did observe (6) six Common Moorhens. The mere number of these birds would indicate that the PUGA may still be present, and possibly the PUGA may have been getting ready for nightfall.
Also of note, a lone American White Pelican was present. I did not view or hear Black-bellied Whistling Ducks last night.
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If my information is correct, Monopoly Marsh water level draw down efforts by Mingo Staff are to help control the Lotus which two years ago was 100% coverage on the marsh. This year, the staff plans to draw down the marsh and then begin a 5 year rotation of the draw down control.
With this in mind, I plan on putting in the canoe this weekend probably for the last time due to lowering water levels, and then in 2 weeks maybe a walk-about on the marsh with knee boots (I wonder if snow shoes would help prevent me from sinking into the silt) and a sturdy walking stick. After which point, my focus for marshland birds will turn to Duck Creek CA as this is the next closest large body of water with large population Lotus for these birds.
I'll keep posting as situations warrant.
Bird on!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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