Hello, Everyone,
 
Now that life has slowed down again, I reactivated mobird, so I can stay in the loop and share information regarding birding adventures in our area.
 
This morning I drove up to Smithville Lake to see if I could find the Little Gull or Pacific Loon which Keith Brink, Kristi Mayo, and others have reported seeing. I saw only a few gulls on the wing which appeard to be Ring-Billed. There were two loons near the dam, but with my low-end scope, I just couldn't make out whether they were common or pacific, although the bills seemed thinner, and I thought I may have seen the start of a black ring at the base of the neck, which could possibly have been the Pacific Loon. Also in the area was a Merganser, which had a very thin bills which made me think it was Red-breasted, but it may have been a Common Merganser.
 
Also within several hundred yards of the dam was a raft of about 2000-3000 SNOW GEESE. Hopefully the Bald Eagles will not be far behind.
 
I had better success with respect to ducks in other locations. First, at the intersection of Hwy 92 and E, on the pond closest to the intersection there were about 22 HOODED MERGANSERS, 7 GADWALL, and a RUDDY DUCK. However, when I passed by a few hours later, they had moved on.
 
Around the marinas, I primary saw AMERICAN COOTS and a few NORTHERN SHOVELERS and CANADA GEESE. However, the duckiest spot (if you can call it that) was in the area called "Crow's Creek" on the SE end of Smithville Lake. I parked at Shelter #4, and walked to the left across a small cornfield, took a right towards the bike trail, and then skirted the trees to within view of thousands of intermixed ducks.
 
The dominant species on the lake was about 1000 MALLARDS, however, mixed in were the following:
 
300 GADWALLS
150 RUDDY DUCKS
30 NORTHERN SHOVELERS
24 NORTHERN PINTAILS
6 RING-NECKED DUCKS
30 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE
10 GREEN-WINGED TEAL
3 BLUE-WINGED TEAL
4 AMERICAN WIGEONS
1 LESSER SCAUP
25 CANVASBACK
 
With a more powerful scope, you may be able to pick out additional ducks in that area which were beyond the reach of my scope.
 
Also in the area of Shelter # 4 were about a dozen EASTERN MEADOWLARKS.
 
If anyone has questions about this report, feel free to contact me.
 
Thank you,
 
 
Heidi Retherford
Independence, MO
 
"Birding gives my heart wings."
 
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