Ron, your posts about your outings with Ian are such fun to read. I
feel like I'm peering over your shoulder as you guys scan and speculate
and discuss, and sometimes laugh at yourselves.
On 1/4/2013 6:09 PM, Ronald Payne wrote:
> This morning Ian Worley and I went to DAR State park to see if we
> could relocate the Common Pochard. A large flock of approximately
> 3600 waterfowl, mostly made of of Goldeneye, Scaup, Common Mergansers
> and Mallards were visible from the from the lakefront of the park.
> The ice line is now not far south of the park's bay, however there is
> open water around the point to the sough allowing a good portion of
> the flock to be out of site. And unfortunately, that section is where
> the large body of the Scaup were most often concentrated. At one
> point a large sheet of ice on the edge broke off ahd floated north
> herding the flock closer into view giving us our best opportunity to
> search for the Pochard, but despite the best efforts of a dozen or so
> birders, it was not found by noon time. If the ice continues to
> progress north, which I suspect it should do more slowly due to the
> warmer temperatures, DAR will likely remain the best place to search
> that flock for the next few days.
> Other species in the flock included Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead,
> White-winged Scoter, Red-breasted Merganser and Gadwall. There were
> also as many as six Bald Eagles of varying ages pirating fish and
> causing other disturbances in the area.
> I'd like to give a big thanks to Maria Mayer and the State Park
> workers who arranged for open gates and clear parking spots which
> were put to good use by many people today.
> Being the cagy old Pochard vetrans we are, Ian and I decided that
> this kind of search had become old-hat, so we headed north along the
> lake to see what else we could find. In the Tri-town/Potash bay area
> we found three American Wigeon, and what we presume is the same
> Glacous Gull seen previously at the Champlain Bridge, oddly being
> kept company by a lone Snow Goose. From a private residence further
> north we spotted in the distance what initially thought might be a
> horned Grebe bobbing on the waves, but when it changed its postion it
> revealed itself to be a goose from the Canada complex. because of our
> original thoughts of the bird being a Grebe, we had the sense that it
> was very small, but with nothing near by to judge it against we were
> having a hard time convincing ourselves that it actually was. While
> we were debating whether or not we could judge the size of the bird
> based on our previous experience with the size of the waves we were
> seeing, our problem was solved when an actual Horned Grebe appeard
> next to the Goose. With the Grebe for scale, we were able to see
> clearly that this was in fact a very tiny goose, and without question
> a Cackling Goose.
> -- Ron Payne Middlebury, VT