The stunning Male Surf Scoter was the big Treat during our annual Grand River Audubon November field trip to Smithville Lake. It was first spotted by Larry Lade, as he, Brent Galliart, and Dan Moore from Midland Empire Audubon joined us. The other Treat was the wonderful, mild weather we enjoyed today! This did bring out a lot of boats and other Human activity around the lake, including one guy who persisted on driving his boat through the middle of the big raft of Ducks out on the center of the lake. That kept things stirred up and moving around. Had good variety of Ducks though including many Ruddy Ducks and Gadwall, nice bunch of Buffleheads, and most other expected species. Saw several Pied-billed Grebes, and groups of Horned Grebes were all around, with total of several dozen. Fair number of Common Loons, but no other Loons, Grebes or rare Ducks were found. An Osprey did a close flyover, and Larry we did finally see a Bald Eagle as we went over the Hyw W bridge on the way back.
  On a very sad note we discovered the former large CRP field on west side of McComas road had been plowed up and planted in Soybeans. There will be no roosting Harriers or Short-eared Owls there now. This is another big loss for grassland birds.

Steve Kinder
Chillicothe, Livingston Co.
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