I went to the South Hero causeway this morning. There was not much in the
lake west of the parking area. The wind was calm, so I walked out to the cut.
I found a good sized group of Goldeneyes, observed them for 30 minutes, then
walked back to the parking area. A raft of Goldeneyes appeared while I was on
the causeway. They were directly west of the kiosk, not too far out and there
was excellent visability. I counted 278 Goldeneyes and after scanning for
about 45 minutes, located a female Barrow's Goldeneye. I noticed the yellow
colored bill first. I then noticed that her bill was less triangularly shaped and
smaller than the female Common Goldeneyes next to her. A lot of the female
CG's had a yellow tipped black bill. This BG's bill was almost all yellow. It also
looked to me like there was less white on her flank line than the flank lines of
the CG's around her. I also saw two female Red-breasted Mergansers feeding
close to the causeway.
I then drove north to Young Island and located The 5 Mute Swan juveniles
that David Capen had reported on Jan 24th. They were well out in the open,
south of Young Island as reported. There is still open water near the two
Sister Islands. The ice is building up around both of them, however. Thanx for
the report, David.