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My Life’s Birds: #107-108

July 16, 2008
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November 7, 1993 – Lake Springfield, Mo – On any given weekend afternoon, on any particular trip into Springfield to run errands, my dad and I would often stop at Lake Springfield, a large, shallow, weed-choked lake on the south side of the city with which it shares a name.

As you might imagine, a shallow weedy lake is especially good for ducks, and that’s the reason we’d often swing by on our trips into town. While Mallards and Canada Geese were year-round and common, occasionally we’d pick through the flocks to find something different. After our first visit, during which we only found the ever-present American Coots, we saw the potential for the location. But on our second visit, in the back, shallowest and weediest part of the lake we found several Gadwall, the smaller blocky-headed ducks feeding among the more common Mallards.

While the vegetation soaked back water was by far the most productive part of the lake, and typically the first place we would go to when we visited, you often find other birds closer to the dam, where the water was deeper and the fishermen would gather around the outtake where the hot water from the coal power plant was discharged back into the lake. You would often find fish-eating birds here too; Cormorants and Grebes, and this time, some Hooded Mergansers among the bobbers and hooks.

Hoodies remain one of my favorite ducks, and it’s with great pleasure I’ve noted their populations increasing across the country. Especially here in North Carolina, where they’ve been noted nesting in the area for the first in memory. A promising development for a great bird.

photos from wikipedia

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