Yesterday Ron Payne and I visited the ensemble of birds near the ice
margin in the vicinity of the Champlain Bridge. There is open water
from beneath the bridge extending northward. Visibility restricted our
viewing on Wednesday to birds within 5000 feet or less from the bridge.
Today I revisited the location, found the same birds we saw, and with
excellent viewing conditions could see several thousand additional birds.
Both days the Common Pochard and the Tufted Duck were easily viewed
close to the bridge, in with a variety of diving and dabbling ducks.
Today two female Canvasbacks were close by. Common Goldeneye were over
700 in number within the range we could see on Wednesday. Today there
were at least 3000 additional Goldeneyes in several rafts in the middle
of the lake and along the New York shore.
On Wednesday, there was a distinct raft of some 400 Greater Scaup in
which we could find only 8 Lesser Scaup. Today there appeared to be
another 2-300 Greaters in that raft, plus another group of 2-400 more
distant. Also today Lesser Scaup numbered 200 or so, scattered in the
loose group of mixed ducks near the Vermont shore plus another 800 in
2-3 rafts farther from shore. There was much shifting about of the
scaup due to low flights of an adult Bald Eagle over the rafts.
Other species included (highest number counted between the two days):
Ring-necked Duck 97
Common Merganser 55
Black Duck 38
Great Black-backed Gull 8
Herring Gull 67
Ring-billed Gull 38
Hooded Merganser 1
Red-breasted Merganser 1
White-winged Scoter 1