With all the birders focusing on the Common Pochard near the southern
end of open water in Lake Champlain over the last 10 days, Ron Payne and
I thought it time to do another careful count of the most abundant
waterfowl and gull species. We viewed the region from four locations
from the Champlain Bridge to DAR State Park. Lighting was good and
waters with only minor ripples. From our viewing locations we were able
to count these same species in New York ice-margin waters as well.
Nearly all the counts were made utilizing clicker counters, and counted
the birds by individuals.
As anticipated, Common Goldeneyes have increased mightily in numbers
(300 or so to over 4000) from December 31 though the past week, flooding
in from staging areas over the border in Quebec. Scaup are persisting
at just under 2000, having decreased slowly from over 3500 in late
October when they first arrived in abundance.
Here are the numbers of these high-number species from today's count.
They, plus the other species of waterfowl present total about 6600
birds, one of the higher numbers for ice-margin birds in early to
Common Goldeneye 4422
Lesser Scaup 1310
Common Merganser 643
Greater Scaup 370
Black Duck 116
Details can be found at:
Bridge/Chimney Point area)
http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S12568980 (DAR State Park)
We saw a number of the continuing species of interest. At both the
bridge and at Potash Bay we saw a Glaucous Gull. We've seen a Glaucous
Gull at both locations recently, but do not know if it is the same bird,
or if there are two.
Bald Eagles numbered 10.