I, too, was at the Charlotte Town Beach and the Ferry dock this morning and enjoyed the nice variety of birds.  But there were 2 birds at the ferry that I couldn't identify.  If Larry, Mike, or anyone else who was there saw these birds and has an inkling about what they are, I'd love to hear from them.

The first was what I thought was a Northern Shoveler.  It had a green head, brown/rust sides, and white front.  There was only one, swimming with Mallards.  It didn't cooperate by giving me a good look at its bill; whenever it faced me, it put its head under the water.  Ted & Bryan's book says that Shovelers aren't here until mid-March.  So, if it's not a Shoveler, could it have been a Mallard hybrid?

The second mystery bird was a lone Canada Goose.  My initial reaction upon seeing it was that it was quite small.  That thought was reinforced when a Great Black-backed Gull swam near the goose--they appeared close to the same size, the goose maybe a little larger.  The white stripes on the sides of its head seemed narrow; there was no appreciable white on its front.  Another first thought was Richardson's, but the bill didn't seem to be all that small.  I don't do well with things like that, however, if there's nothing to compare it to.  The goose flew east while I was there; when I returned later it was not around.

The rest of the day was easier: 2 flocks of 30+ Robins, one on Sand Rd., the other on Kellogg Bay Rd. in Ferrisburg, and 20+ Horned Larks on Gage Rd. in Addison (no owls--have they been seen recently?).  The big disappointment was that my need for a Snow Bunting fix was not met--nary a one in the large part of Addison County that I covered.

Sherry Mahady
Essex Jct.

On Sun, 9 Feb 2003 13:24:17 -0500, Larry Hills <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Four Ring-necked Ducks joined the more common winter species in the
>little bay by the Charlotte Ferry dock.  A half dozen or so hooded
>mergansers were also present.
>I was surprised to see that there is still a lot of open water.  At
>Burlington the open water is very far offshore, but at Charlotte Town
>Beach, the ice ends only about 20 yards from shore.
>Common Goldeneyes are at CTB in their hundreds.  I couldn't find a
>Barrow's among them, but it was choppy and some of the groups were far
>out.  There were hoodies in very close, giving lovely views.