Ted Murin and I headed up to Grande Isle today on a perhaps quixotic search
for a California gull. While gulls proved to be scarce and the wind strong,
we did check out the raft of ducks at Allen Point. It was a truly
impressive sight, in the range of 7000-10,000 ducks tightly bunched in a
constantly shifting but kind of V formation. The vast majority were greater
scaup with just a few readily identified lesser scaup. Two male redheads
were hiding out in the group and many goldeneyes were in the vicinity.
Getting a good view is a bit of a challenge due to all the homes along the
shore on the road to the causeway-if anyone wants to check them out, it
might be worth driving by that road and continuing a couple 100 yards or so
to where the road bends to the right. There is a seasonal home on the left
with an open view across the lawn to where the ducks are. The light angle
is a bit of a challenge from there though. In addition we also found a
flock of 55 snow buntings and one longspur by the draw bridge and a
rough-legged hawk east of South Hero village. It all took the sting out of
missing that gull.