I wonder if that was the same bird I spotted as I drove westward on I-189 at
about 0845. I had crested the high point in the road and was just starting
down toward Shelburne Road. I looked up on seeing a large dark falcon thay
was also beating powerfully to the north and slightly eastward. I came
home and was looking up shapes and colors and frustrated that it looked the
wrong size and color for the peregrines and way too bulky for a kestrel.
Wow! It pays to look up, but not while driving!
>From: David Hoag <[log in to unmask]>
>Reply-To: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [VTBIRD] South Hero: Gyrfalcon, Tufted Ducks, Barrow's, etc...
>Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2006 15:50:49 EST
>FWD: excerpt from NNYBirds:
>Gyrfalcon, Tufted Ducks, Barrow's, etc...
>Date: 3/7/06 2:23:46 PM Eastern Standard Time
>........... (railroad causeway) South Hero, VT,
>........... Allen Point Park, reached by taking
>South Street south to Martin Road. The Park is
>accessed by car down a one-lane, 15MPH drive to
>a parking area. Please do drive slowly down
>this lane as there are residences on either side
>and folks there like to walk.
>So, this morning I arrived at around 9:00am and found two friendly
>birders already looking at the thousands of ducks for a drake King
>Eider which had been seen there on Sunday. No sooner did I set up
>my scope then did 'Ted' announce he had a raptor flying north over
>the bay. Soon we all were on the bird, a gray form GYRFALCON, as it
>powered up the lake. The light was terrific (behind us) and we
>could see the powerful, humped shoulders of the bird as it pumped
>its wings. Ted was looking through a huge Celestron-type telescope
>and was seeing more plumage detail than I could see with my Kowa
>77mm. The Gyr made one brief, lighting-fast chase after a distant
>duck, but otherwise it just kept pumping on towards Canada. The
>total thrilling viewing time was (maybe?) 4 minutes, but the image
>of that exhilirating falcon flying over the half-frozen bay, with
>the snow-capped Adirondacks in the background will stay with me for
>a long while.
>A pair of TUFTED DUCKS (also seen on Monday by yours truly) was seen
>very well, also. The Tufteds were hanging around a small flock of
>GREATER SCAUP (even though there are some BIG rafts,too), the scaup
>species of majority there, although there were a few Lesser's, too.
>Both of my viewings of the Tufteds were fairly close in, just about
>near the edge of the ice. If you go, however, you must (MUST) bring
>a scope for all the ducks are at scope-range.
>Two different pairs of BARROW'S GOLDENEYES were seen, too.
>Simultaneously! There were also 7-8 REDHEAD DUCKS, about the same
>amount of RING NECK DUCKS, some HOODED MERGANSERS, and a lot of
>COMMON GOLDENEYE. (Funny, no Buffleheads...)
>The non-Gyr raptors there was a pair of adult BALD EAGLES, seen
>cavorting together near the large-ish island directly across from
>the park. ......... Paul, ........ Jay, NY
>Add two White-winged Scoters to Paul's list.
>Dave Hoag, Grand Isle, VT.
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