Were those Ruddys at McCuen still in winter plumage?
They're nifty critters at any time, but a friend of mine once described
them as looking like mini thermonuclear explosions when steaming towards
you in breeding plumage, which I agree with. Worth going way out of
your way to see.
On 3/31/2013 8:47 PM, Ian A. Worley wrote:
> With many open water areas now expanding in Lake Champlain south of the
> Champlain Bridge, Ron Payne and I today visited 10 locations from
> Plunder Bay in Orwell north to McCuen Slang in Addison. Waves and heat
> distortion made impossible identifying and counting the many hundreds of
> ducks that swam at distances greater than a half a mile at several
> viewing sites, but there were lots of closer birds for good viewing.
> Highlights were 7 Ruddy Ducks in a cove at McCuen Slang, a Black Scoter
> flying rapidly northward low over the water past Lapham Bay, a
> Pied-billed Grebe at Plunder Bay, an Osprey with fish atop a utility
> pole near Stony Cove, and an Eastern Meadowlark near Larrabee's Point
> fishing access.
> Waterfowl were diverse, as we saw 19 species:
> Canada Goose
> Snow Goose (7 in a Bridport field)
> Wood Duck
> American Wigeon
> American Black Duck
> Northern Pintail
> Green-winged Teal
> Ring-necked Duck
> Greater Scaup
> Lesser Scaup
> Black Scoter
> Common Goldeneye
> Hooded Merganser
> Common Merganser
> Ruddy Duck
> Pied-billed Grebe
> Saw a total of 19 Bald Eagles for the day. In our travels we also
> recorded 13 Red-tailed Hawks, 6 Kestrels, 2 Harriers, 2 Turkey Vultures,
> a Rough-legged Hawk, and the previously mentioned Osprey.
> Overall, we tallied 55 species for the day.