[mou] More BIG Numbers

Drewbec at aol.com Drewbec at aol.com
Mon Apr 14 22:32:13 CDT 2008

Stopped by Black Dog Lake this evening and witnessed quite a phenomenon.  
While I was impressed last week with my count of 31 Common Loons at  the Dog, 
tonight I had 47. Not quite the 50 odd birds seen over the weekend, but  still my 
personal high count in Dakota County. As Black Dog is fairly shallow,  it 
doesn't usually drawn many loons at all. I have NEVER seen double digit  numbers 
of loons on any body of water in nearly 18 years of birding in this  county. 
Also present were 35 Red-necked Grebes, another personal high count. I  believe 
my former high count was 4 or 5. 35 blew me away! Imagine, it  wasn't that 
long ago that finding 1 here in Dakota was doing really well!  This number 
nearly TRIPLES the total number of Red-necked Grebes I've seen in  the county!  
Still counting other birds, I had 49 Horned Grebes, yet  another personal high 
count in the county. More typical in spring would be  finding small groups of up 
to seven or so individuals. Seeing this many was  amazing!
I don't recall numbers of loons or grebes like this in the Twin Cities area  
since I've lived here. That other lakes are producing equally good numbers is  
remarkable. I encourage everyone to keep counting and report their numbers. 
It  may be many years before an event like this reoccurs.
Also present were numerous ducks, including many Greater Scaup, Ruddy  Ducks, 
and several Canvasbacks and Redheads with several others.
Drew Smith
Eagan, Dakota County

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