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Subject:[mou-net] 232 Long-tailed Ducks at Stoney Point, St. Louis County
From:Peder Svingen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Peder Svingen <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 6 Mar 2009 19:51:42 -0700
Content-Type:text/plain

Earlier this week, nearly all of Lake Superior was covered with ice as  
shown at:
http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/modis/modis.cgi/modis?region=s&page=1

Balmy temperatures and west winds today created open areas of water  
along the North Shore, which helped concentrate waterfowl in a few  
areas. Late this afternoon, I was fortunate to find no fewer than 232  
Long-tailed Ducks on Lake Superior off Stoney Point, St. Louis County.  
The birds were initially in two large flocks which eventually  
coalesced into one noisy, bobbing raft of bathtub toys. Their loud  
vocalizations were easily heard from a distance of 1/4 mile. This is  
by far the largest flock of Long-taileds that I have seen in the  
Duluth area.

Jan Green kindly supplied a compilation of records of this species  
from the North Shore and I combined those records with high counts  
from Karl Bardon's Occasional Paper from several years ago. As most of  
you know, the highest counts of Long-tailed Ducks in Minnesota are  
from Cook County. As far as I can determine, only one previous count  
from St. Louis County exceeds my total from today -- 250 on the Duluth  
CBC, 2 Jan 1960 (Flicker 32:83). There is also a count of 397 Long- 
taileds during a winter count from Fond du Lac (St. Louis County) to  
Knife River (Lake County), 2 January 1956 (Flicker 28:159). It is  
unknown whether either of these two totals consisted of single flocks,  
and the latter count may have included birds from two different  
counties.

Here are the counts of ≥ 230 birds from these sources. I thank Jan  
Green and Karl Bardon for compiling these data.

1000s
fall
1948
17 mi NE Grand Marais
Abbott, SR 21:115
1,000+
12-Feb
1961
Tofte-Grand Marais, Cook County
Green 1975
800 (one of 17 flocks in two days)
12-Feb
1950
near Cascade River S.P., Cook County
Barrett 1950
750
19-Feb
1949
Cook County
Hayward 1949
700
Feb
1948
Gooseberry Falls S.P., Cook County
Hayward 1949
700
Feb
1948
near Two Harbors, Lake County
Hayward 1949
500
appr. 25 Dec
1952
within 20 mi of Grand Marais
Hanlon et al., SR 25:39
452
8-Dec
1999
Cascade River to Hovland, Cook County
Bardon, SR 72:146
348
16-Dec
1995
Grand Marais CBC
SR 68:146
300+
late Dec
1984
Cook County
Hoffman, SR 57:124
300
28-Nov
1981
Cook County
LaFond, SR 54:117
300
11-Nov
1965
Cook County
Allin, SR 38:49
250
15-Feb
1964
3 locations, Lake County
Green, pers. records
250
2-Jan
1960
Duluth CBC
fide G. Kuyava, Flicker 32:83
233
28-Dec
1956
Grand Marais CBC
Flicker 30:95
232
6-Mar
2009
Stoney Point, St. Louis County
Svingen, SR *****

--
Peder Svingen
Duluth, MN




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