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July 2010


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Dennis and Barbara Martin <[log in to unmask]>
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Dennis and Barbara Martin <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 17 Jul 2010 19:29:35 -0600
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We were able to refind the Sand Lake Sibley County moorhen looking from the 
public access on Cty Rd 15.  From there the bird appeared to be on the west 
side, closer to the south west corner.  From this distance a scope will be 
necessary.  From when we first found it until it disappeared into the 
cattails was probably only about 10 minutes, but was long enough for a 
friend who was on the northwest corner to drive over to the access.

We looked for the moorhens in Blue Earth County at Perch Lake WPA.  We know 
others also looked without success for at least a total of 4 hours.  Note 
when looking for these birds be careful.  There are at least 4 American Coot 
young juveniles in the same area.  They are nearly full-sized but still have 
a yellowish-orange bill.  The field guides generally do not show that very 
young juvenile coots have a variable  yellowish-orange bill.  From our 
experience this color is gone and the birds have a whiteish bill by about 
the first of August.  This color does not approach the bright red that is on 
a moorhen but it can be confusing if you are not used to the vivid red bill 
of the moorhen.  Also note that the moorhen also shows usually rather 
clearly a thin white horizontal  line on the flanks and the coot never shows 
this.  Juveniles of both species tend to be paler underneath than adults.

Interesting that these 4 juveniles were not in the same plumage but were all 
about the same size indicating they were about the same age.  3 of them were 
typical medium gray backed, gray headed, and and slightly paler underneath. 
The 4th was very white.  It appeared to have a white look over most of the 
head, a pale gray upper body color, and almost a white look underneath. 
Very strange.  Note that we were eventually able to see the adult coot with 
these young and they also all followed the adult around for at least a short 
while together.

Dennis and Barbara Martin
Shorewood, MN
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Williams, Bob" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, July 17, 2010 8:19 AM
Subject: [mou-net] Common Moorhen and Cattle Egrets in Sibley County

>I just got a call from Ron Erpelding and he was able to relocate the
> Common Moorhen at Sand Lake in Sibley County early this morning.  He
> only got a brief look before it went back into the cattails.  The Cattle
> Egrets were still there, but on the east side of Co. Rd. 13 about a half
> mile south of the previous location.
> Bob Williams
> ----
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