We did our annual Grand River Audubon November fieldtrip to Smithville Lake today. Strong winds made viewing pretty challenging this morning. There was a large flock of Ducks out in the middle of the lake bouncing through the water. They were mostly Lesser Scaup and Gadwall, with a smattering of other species mixed in, including several Horned Grebes. We didn't find any large Grebes today. A lone female Common Merganser was in closer, then joined a flock of American Coots. We spotted one Common Loon from the east side at the Crows Creek picnic area. There were some Bonaparte's Gulls seen flying around from that side also.
   Terry McNeely and I were able to stay longer than the others and went on to find several Common Loons and a Pacific Loon from the Little Platte area on the north side later in the afternoon. When they started moving back towards the Dam we moved back to the parking area at the north end where Terry relocated the PALO. Then it vanished for awhile after Doug Willis arrived, but later Doug picked it out of a flock with 14 Common Loons. Several more COLO were observed from there as well. Doug was still there when we left so he may have seen more this evening. 
  Nice outing esp after the wind finally let up!

Later,
Steve Kinder
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