This morning I took a pre-planned New Year's Day trip to the Champlain Bridge in Addison had an added impetus with Ian Worley's sighting of a Harlequin Duck yesterday. I never did find the Harlequin, but I got different Life Bird almost right away when I spotted an immature Glaucous Gull on a flow of ice south of the bridge. Its white primaries really stood out, and it was alongside a Great Black-backed Gull when I first saw it to give it scale. Not long after this, two Red foxes came out onto the ice and approached some ducks along the ice, which just casually swam away from them. The foxes then disappeared into shrub along the shore. At this point I got busy counting the many Lesser and greater Scaup, Goldeneye, Mallards, Black Ducks and Mergansers in the area, a task that was rather unpleasant given the stiff cold breeze. Around this time Ian Worley arrived and he was excited to hear about the Glaucous Gull, as he had never seen one before. After a few minutes of searching from the top of the bridge, he suggested we move below it to get out of the wind, an extremely good idea! From beneath the bridge we searched the mixed flock on the northwest end, I picked out a White-winged Scoter and a female Barrow's Goldeneye, and Ian spotted a beautiful adult male Redhead. Ian decided to go to a different position so he could search for the Glaucous, but I quickly called him back when I saw that one of the Scaup had a tuft on the back of its head, and was in fact an adult male Tufted Duck, a life bird for him. As we looked at this bird we spotted an adult male Barrow's Goldeneye, and a female Redhead. Later Ian did find the Glaucous, so at the time I left to go defrost myself, I had a one life-bird day and Ian had a two life-bird day.
Full checklist with blurry digiscoped pictures:
Happy New Year's birding, everyone!