Astonishing variety and astonishing numbers of each species today close to the parking lot below the Champlain Bridge! The birds are held in the relatively small area of open water by ice all around, making a feast for the eyes and ears of birders.
There are wigeons, pintails, green-winged teal, hooded mergansers, a breathtakingly huge number of Common Mergansers (thousands, literally), greater and lesser scaup, ring-necked ducks, Canada geese, and 140 double-crested cormorants lined up on the ice, several with their double crests visible like little horns (and one individual who had one “horn” sticking straight up and the other going straight out to the side - a jaunty look!).
We also saw three poor deluded Tree Swallows dipping low over the mergansers, earlier than I’ve ever seen this species. It’s always such a life-and-death choice: fly north early and secure the best breeding territory, and maybe die of starvation, or come later when there are plenty of insects but possibly miss out on a good breeding area.