As has been previously reported by Larry Haugh, yesterday was a great
gull day at the southern reaches of open water of Lake Champlain. Ron
Payne, Spencer Hardy, and I viewed from three locations from Potash Bay
in Addison north to Turkey Lane in Panton.
From the shore at Potash Bay, looking beyond the ice fishermen on the
frozen bay, at the edge of ice there were 2200 gulls ... which we first
saw in flight (likely eagle spooked), and then counted as they sat and
slept on the ice margin. They appeared to be predominantly Ring-billed
Gulls, along with Herring, Great-black Backed and the three Iceland
Gulls seen by Ted Murin later in the day. Also there two White-winged
Scoters were seen flying low over the water.
From Turkey Lane, we discovered the adult, beautifully plumaged
Slaty-backed Gull (see checklist for details) on and around Mud Island
along with Greater Black-backed, Herring, many Ring-billed Gulls and one
immature Glaucous Gull. Ted Murin, Larry Haugh, and Jim Phillips joined
us to further confirm the Slaty-backed Gull. Interestingly, at one point
we were viewing the bird while standing on exposed rocks on the shore
beneath a cliff. The rocks were slabs of slate ... exactly the same
color as the back of the appropriately named Slaty-backed Gull!
After we left Ted, Larry, and Jim found an immature Iceland Gull on Mud
Island. Also in attendance were a pair of Redheads, a couple of
Ring-necked Ducks, and several other duck species.
The Turkey Lane checklist is at:
The Potash Bay checklist is at:
If you head to Turkey Lane, note that the walk down to the lake from the
parking area is very icy ... unannounced quick descents are possible!