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November 2013


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Alyssa DeRubeis <[log in to unmask]>
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Alyssa DeRubeis <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:41:57 -0700
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I found a female/juvenile Long-tailed Duck this afternoon on Medicine Lake
in Plymouth. The bird was pretty far out from the swimming beach at French
Park, but I was still able to see the stout body, rectangular head, thick
bill, large white area around the eyes, and the sharp contrast between the
wing and sides. It was hard to compare its size to other ducks, as it was
all alone. I saw it the whole time I was there, which was from about

There were other waterfowl present, including: Canada Goose, Trumpeter Swan
(~30), Mallard, Northern Shoveler (5), Canvasback (1), Redhead (~30),
Ring-necked Duck (1), Greater Scaup (~7), Bufflehead (~5), Common
Goldeneye, Hooded Merganser (~30), and Ruddy Duck (3), plus Pied-billed
Grebe (3), American Coot, and Brown Creeper (1).

I later found at least 2 (up to 5 total) Cackling Geese (ssp. Hutchinson's)
at the Lamplighter Park pond in St. Louis Park. I took several photos and
hope to put them up on the MOU website soon.

As for the mystery hybrid diving duck I reported yesterday, it remains as
such. Most respondents thought there was definitely some merganser in it.
After seeing all the Hooded Mergansers today (which were absent yesterday),
it is clear that the unknown duck I saw yesterday did not have as long and
thin of a bill, sleek body, or fuzzy crest like the Hooded Mergansers. The
bird still could have been out there, but several of the female ducks with
the Common Goldeneye were much further out today, sleeping, and/or were in
a heat wave.

To get to French Park: There is a turn off on the south side of Rockford
Road. This road is the next one west of Larch Lane and is 0.75 miles east
of Highway 494. You'll see a big sign for the park. Take the windy road all
the way down to the swimming beach. The Long-tailed Duck was
south/southeast of the beach.

To get to Lamplighter Park: There is a church on the east side of Texas
Avenue South; this is less than 0.2 miles north of W Franklin Avenue and
0.5 miles south of Wayzeta Boulevard. The pond is east/south of the parking
lot. I saw the geese in the southern part of the pond.

Good birding!

Alyssa DeRubeis
Golden Valley, Hennepin Co.

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