A Carolina Wren is visiting my suet feeder in South Burlington this morning.
Sent from my iPhone
On Feb 11, 2013, at 5:33 AM, "Ian A. Worley" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yesterday, after a cold, calm, clear night, when dawn broke virtually all the lake south of Thompson's Point was a single sheet of ice.
> Only two of the stops made by Ron Payne and me from Button Bay southward had lake birds. A large concentration of nearly 2400 Common Goldeneyes and 195 Common Mergansers were in leads west of Button Island, while a concentrated pod of dabblers (about 100) and Canada Geese (248) mingled in an ice-free opening of their own making on the west shore of Button Pond. These birds were viewed from Button Point at the southwestern tip of Button Bay State Park.
> Two similar duck-maintained openings in the ice were in the vicinity of Rock Island in White Bay (south of Arnold Bay). The constant swimming of the birds, almost entirely dabblers, circulated enough water to keep it from freezing -- concentrating the birds in a very small space in the process. At their distance from shore, the tightly packed birds did not look like birds at all ... more like a small line of rocks poking just above water level. Ted Murin and Steve Antell arrived at the viewing location (junction of Pease, Arnold Bay, and Lake Roads) moments after Ron and I did, and we viewed the birds for over two hours.
> We counted 5722 ducks and geese overall; there were 13 species of ducks seen. A number of very cheerful folks out enjoying the spectacular winter day shared our scopes from time to time, ooing and awing at the great numbers of ducks and the sight of multiple eagles.
> White Bay checklist is at: http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S12925132
> Button Island checklist is at: http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S12925186
> Considering the history of birds in the part of the lake since they started concentrating in late October, the most noteworthy change in the last several days has been the decreasing number of Scaup to the point they are virtually absent now -- perhaps having moved north to the open lake west of Chittenden County, or to warmer waters well south of Vermont. Scaup high counts were 5499 in December (almost all Lessers) and 5250 (about 2/3 Greaters) January 19th. Yesterday there were only 30 Greater Scaup and 26 Lessers.
> Yesterday's combined counts:
> Common Goldeneye ---- 2392
> Mallard ---- 2139
> Black Duck ---- 532
> Canada Goose ---- 388
> Common Merganser ---- 196
> Greater Scaup ---- 30
> Lesser Scaup ---- 26
> Hooded Merganser ---- 7
> Redhead ---- 5
> Gadwall ---- 2
> Red-breasted Merganser ---- 2
> Bufflehead ---- 1
> Common Pochard ---- 1
> Ring-necked Duck ---- 1
> Bald Eagle ---- 16