At about 5 PM Saturday evening I found 3 White-winged Scoters above the Spillway at Prairie Island in Winona. They all were in a similar drab plumage, resembling that of the 1st Winter Male illustrations in Sibley and National Geographic. They were in a mixed group of divers. Here are the coordinates:
I first spotted the birds from the spillway proper (at the bend in Prairie Island Road). There is now a fence here that one needs to look through (aargh!!), but I was able to get closer looks by going to the McNally Landing boat launch, and walking towards the river from there. An incoming boat flushed up the flock containing the scoters, but I suspect the scoters will make their way back to the same area, as this has been a particularly favorable spot for scoters in recent years (I suspect that yummy zebra mussels are particularly concentrated here).
Things were very birdy today, with 6 Common Loons at Lake WInona, 1 at Bartlet Lake, Horned Grebe and numerous waterfowl at Prairie Island, Lesser Yellowlegs at Verchota Landing, migrant Vesper and Savannah Sparrows near the tennis courts at Lake Winona, and a Brown Thrasher near the Gazebo at Lake WInona.
Dedrick BenzWinona, MN
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