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I birded Smithville Lake (Clay Co.) today (01/22/21). Some highlights:
Iceland (Thayer's) at Little Platte Park, a rather pale 1st cycle (seen from the point). Originally found by Doug Willis.
Great Black-backed Gull (1st cycle) - south end of the dam @ 4 pm. Originally found by Doug Willis. Was nice to chat with Mary N. while watching the bird.
Long-tailed duck - 2 (male and female) at Little Platte Park (seen from the point). Reported by several people.
Rusty blackbirds - 90+, a nice flock at Crow's Creek campground.
Huge numbers of Common Mergansers (probably 1000+) have built up on the main body of the lake towards late afternoon.
Also had a Common Loon.
In the morning on the way down I had a very pretty imm. Golden Eagle with bright white wing panels and tail with a white base soaring with a slight dihydral in the SE Adair Co. along Hwy 11. The bird was dark chocolate brown with no white mottling typically seen in imm. Bald Eagles. Also had 70+ Trumpeter Swans along Hwy 36 in Linn Co. near Laclede.
Good winter birding,
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