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Husband Sammy & I followed up on the Ekblad's and originally Craig Mandel's reports of Common Gallinules in Wabasha County. On Saturday 8/4 we looked for the birds at the Richard Dorer Pools along Hwy 74 (2 + mi. SW of Hwy 61 at a blue sign w/ 14947 on it). We spotted the Least Bittern as we pulled into the little parking area. We saw a Short-billed Marsh Wren in the cattails, but no gallinules. Suddenly a Yellow Rail was for some reason spooked out of the rushes and flew towards us, until it saw us and dropped into the reeds. We left for White Water State Park, but returned to #14947 about 5:30 p.m. This time we walked further out on the dike. I saw a Mink sit up on its hindquarters, take 1 look at me, and glide into the waterside vegetation. Finally further out in a sort of cove of the pool we saw 2 adult Gallinules w/ 7 young (who are now about 1/2 the size of the adults). Walking back we heard the Yellow Rail clicking but it did not show itself again. Mortified that it had been seen by human eyes once that day, the rail stayed hidden.
Kiki Sonnen
St. Paul, MN

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