This morning I joined Don Jones, Ali Wagner, and Zac Cota for some birding along the southern portion of Lake Champlain.
We started at the Champlain Bridge where a small crowd was enjoying crystal clear views of the male Tufted Duck among several thousand other waterfowl (including 3 Redhead). Yet, the most unexpected find of the day came later.
At the Tri-town Water Plant, we found 4 White-winged Scoters, which was exciting enough, but one of the birds had a foot-long wire trailing behind. A quick google search and an email to a project coordinator tracked down some more information. It was an adult female that was banded and fit with a transmitter near Forestville, Quebec this past August. The researcher was able to show me the location of the bird today (within a few hundred yards) and said that it has been on Lake Champlain all winter. Only one of 75 they have put transmitters on since 2010!
More info on the project:
Other highlights included 14 Common Loon, 5 Northern Harrier, and a Peregrine Falcon.
Overall, 42 species for mid-january isn’t bad, thought it felt more like March with temperature in the 40’s and hardly any snow in sight.