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A great day on Lake Champlain!  Found all 3 of my principal targets -  Tufted 
Ducks, Redheads, and Harlequins.
 
Arrived at the South Hero causeway at 9 AM to find the viewing conditions  
virtually ideal - no wind at all meant the water was almost as smooth as glass,  
overcast skies meant no glare, and no heat shimmer.  But there was no ice  to 
the west of the causeway so the 2000+ diving ducks were spread out and many  
were far away.  After about 45 minutes of looking through the far away  ducks, 
I said to myself that I bet the Tufted Ducks are close on the front edge  of 
the flock so they can stay out of the middle of the scaup.  So I started  
looking at the close birds and almost immediately found the Tufted Duck pair  
indeed at the close edge of the flock!  Distance was maybe 50 yards.
 
Other birds of note at South Hero were -
-  Redheads - 3 males and 2 females (the 3rd female was probably  around 
somewhere)
-  Surf Scoter - 1 young male
-  Barrow's Goldeneye - 1 male, 1 female (tho I didn't search thru all  the 
goldeneyes closely)
 
Then on to Charlotte town beach.  As reported by Roy Pilcher, we  finally 
found the young male Harlequin Duck.  When I arrived only about 20  goldeneyes 
were visible, and all soon moved out of view to the south.  But  about 20 
minutes later something must have spooked the birds around the corner  and a flock 
of 150+ birds flew in front of us - including the harlequin.   In flight the 
harlequin was very noticable as it was basically all dark brown  with no white 
wing patches, unlike all the other waterfowl (goldeneyes,  mergs, buffleheads) 
with prominent white in the wings.  Again water  was almost as smooth as 
glass!  Other birds of note-
-  Horned Grebe, 1
-  DC Cormorant - 6 flying north
 
Button Bay had fewer birds and most were far away and with poor  light.  Best 
highlights were 6 gadwalls.
 
Tri-town Water facility had just goldeneyes and common mergs.
 
On the way back home I tried for the White-fronted goose reported on the  
Connecticut River.  I found just 4 Canada Geese in the typical places along  the 
river in VT.  A farmer's field across the river in NH had 200+ Canadas,  but 
with awful parking possibilities, I couldn't check them out very  closely.  
 
Non-waterfowl birds of note -
-  1 Bald Eagle - S of Vergennes
-  1 Rough-legged Hawk, dark phase, Button Bay
-  Carolina wren - 1 at South Hero, 1 at Charlotte beach
 
A most worthwhile 13 hours and 460 miles !!
 
 
Mike Resch
Pepperell, MA