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VTBIRD  January 2012

VTBIRD January 2012

Subject:

Re: Champlain Bridge/DAR - Long-tailed Duck, Redheads, Canvasback

From:

Ronald Payne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 1 Jan 2012 15:04:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (152 lines)

Jeez, Scaup. I think I'm going to personally petition the AOU to lump them. 

  --
Ron Payne
Middlebury, VT

On Sat, 31 Dec 2011 20:44:33 -0500, "Ian A. Worley" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Birds in the vicinity of the southern end of open ice in Lake Champlain
> were very busy today.  Lots of rafting, feeding, moving about.  By 
> midday and early afternoon the visibility became superb with calm 
> waters, no heat distortion, and good sunlight.  I viewed from the 
> Champlain Bridge for about an hour in late morning, and then again in 
> the afternoon.  I viewed from DAR Park midday. 
>
> Highlights were two Redhead and one Long-tailed Duck males in bright 
> plumages, plus one female Canvasback.  With the Redhead males was a 
> female that I first thought was a Redhead, then concluded was a Scaup 
> ... but I didn't spend much time with it.   I'm going back tomorrow 
> morning to try to relocate the bird and verify its species. 
>
> Most of the Common Mergansers were actively swimming back and forth 
> over one area, which I presume was a feeding area.  Dozens to 
> hundreds of birds would dive all at once; a wonderfully choreographed 
> water ballet!  This went on continuously, especially in the afternoon. 
>
> Other descriptive comments are in the lists below. 
>
> PS ... I also saw two groups of Mourning Doves numbering about 20 
> during the drive to and from the lake. 
>
> Happy New Year all!!
>
> Ian
> =============================================
>
> Champlain Bridge, Addison, US-VT
> Dec 31, 2011 10:16 AM - 11:22 AM
> Protocol: Stationary
>
> Comments:     No open water under bridge nor to its east and south.  
> Some shore ice to west and along east shore.  Open water to the 
> north.  Additional rafts at distances to far to ID. 
> 11 species
>
> American Black Duck  3
> Mallard  65
>
> Common Goldeneye  515     In groups of different sizes, some out in 
> open water, others near and along ice edge. Some well intermingled 
> with other species.  Appears to be many more in more distant raft.  
> Could not find a Barrow's. 
>
> Common Merganser  935     Very actively diving; several hundred 
> diving at a time.  Actively swimming back and forth across feeding (I 
> presume) area.  Great Black-backed Gulls coming and going in feeding 
> melee.  Total numbers may have been slightly larger.  Main group 600 
> or so birds.  Another group of 250.  Others in smaller groups and/or 
> intermingled with other species. 
>
> Common Loon  2
> Ring-billed Gull  17
> Herring Gull  57
> Great Black-backed Gull  32 Some loafing on ice by water, others 
> working the Common Merganser feeding melee. 
> American Crow  4
> Black-capped Chickadee  2
> European Starling  17
>
> ======================================
>
> Champlain Bridge, Addison, US-VT
> Dec 31, 2011 12:37 PM - 1:26 PM
> Protocol: Stationary
>
> Comments:     No open water under bridge nor to its east and south.  
> Some shore ice to west and along east shore.  Open water to the 
> north.   Second visit of the day.  Certainly many of the birds are 
> repeats from earlier, but there is much coming and going.  Superb 
> visibility; absolute calm; complete absence of heat distortion.  Well 
> lit by sun.  Was able to view rafts seen earlier in morning that 
> could not be seen adequately then. 
> 8 species
>
> Mallard  69
>
> Canvasback  1     In mixed raft of some 170 ducks comprised mostly of 
> Common Goldeneyes plus Common Mergansers and Mallards.  About 900 
> feet from ice edge northwest of bridge.  Bird first observed slightly 
> apart from the raft.  It then swam in and among the other birds, but 
> did not interact with them in any noticeable way.  When in the 
> densest part of raft it was hard to keep in view.  Diagnostic 
> bill/head profile easy to discern when head and neck extended 
> upright, but when the bird swam with head tucked in the bill shape 
> was muted and difficult or impossible to see adequately. 
>
> Redhead  2     In close company with a female (of unsure species) 
> loosely intermingling with Mallards and a few Common Goldeneyes and 
> Common Mergansers in water at edge of ice.  Brightly colored.  I will 
> attempt to relocate the female and determine if it is a redhead or 
> scaup; I originally identified it as a Redhead. 
>
> Common Goldeneye  1500     One very large raft in north/south line 
> well west of bridge.  Visibility so good I could scan for other 
> species including Barrow's (at least with many of the birds).  Three 
> smaller rafts closer and northwest of bridge.  Many local groups 
> along the ice edge and intermingled with other species.  No Barrow's 
> seen. 
>
> Common Merganser  1400     Very actively diving; several hundred 
> diving at a time.  Actively swimming back and forth across feeding (I 
> presume) area.  Great Black-backed Gulls coming and going in feeding 
> melee.   Main group 1000 or so birds.  Another group of 220.  Others 
> in smaller groups and/or intermingled with other species.  Groups of 
> 60 to 100 often lifting up and repositioning. 
>
> Ring-billed Gull  12
>
> Great Black-backed Gull  41     More than half loafing individually 
> or in loose groups of 3-5 on ice by water, others working the Common 
> Merganser feeding melees. 
>
> American Crow  2
> ===========================
> DAR State Park, Addison, US-VT
> Dec 31, 2011 11:32 AM - 12:25 PM
> Protocol: Traveling
> 0.2 mile(s)
> Comments:     Slight amount of shore ice.  Excellent visibility; 
> calm, no heat distortion. 
> 17 species (+1 other taxa)
>
> Canada Goose  63
> American Black Duck  5
> Mallard  16
> Ring-necked Duck  6     In with Scaup
> Greater Scaup  30
> Lesser Scaup  140
> Greater/Lesser Scaup  470
> Long-tailed Duck  1     Stayed on the fringe of Goose raft. 
> Common Goldeneye  122
> Common Merganser  11
> Ring-billed Gull  5
> Herring Gull  15
> Blue Jay  1
> American Crow  3
> Common Raven  1
> Black-capped Chickadee  1
> White-breasted Nuthatch  1
> American Robin  46
>
>

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