The first few weeks in November the lake was also a staging area for ducks and other waterfowl migrating south to stop, eat and rest up for the remained of their journey. This presented Twin Cities birders with good close up looks at birds who tended to stay near the shoreline of the road.
One of the ducks that I got to see was the northern pintail.
Northern Pintails typically nest in Alaska, Canada, and the central United States as well as northern Europe and Asia. They build a nest on the ground made of grass, leaves and down. The nest is hidden by tall grass or brush and is typically not near the water. The clutch consists of 3 to 12 greenish eggs.
In the winter the Northern Pintail migrate south to the southern US, Central America and the very north edge of South America, southern Europe, Asia and Northern Africa on the Eurasia side.
When I visited the Bosque del Apache, back in February, there were pintails all over but at lake Vadnais there was only one pintail. He was grouped in with a small flock of mallards.