Great day Roy. I wish I could have made it out but, other duties got in the way. This makes me wish I had all the more! Kevin
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Roy Pilcher<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
  Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 7:56 PM
  Subject: [VTBIRD] Long-tailed Ducks, Tree Swallow, Herring Gull, Golden Eagle

  With an anticipated change in the wind direction from north to south, I  
  decided to spend some time at the Hubbardton Battlefield to see if I could 
  catch  an early migrating raptor or two!
  I took the long way around, first checking West Rutland, the Castleton  
  River, then Lake Bomoseen, both the Castleton section and the Hubbardton 
  section  before circling back to the battlefield. 
  The lake remains frozen except where the water inflows in the  north and 
  where outflows in the south.
  The two, (apparent pair) of Long-tailed Ducks were at the south channel  
  where the channel merges into the main body of the lake at the ice edge. They  
  were both feeding, (diving), and passing the time but ever  alert.
  The lone Tree Swallow was at the north end seeking some insect hatch while  
  flying low over the open water. The Herring Gull was on the ice in the same 
  area  observed swallowing what appeared to be a large catfish.
  The Hubbardton Battlefield is bound by a north/south ridge of  the Taconics 
  to the east. The Adirondacks are clearly visible to the west.  The view to 
  the south is extensive also to the north.
  At least 3 Turkey Vultures had been observed coursing the area flying at a  
  pretty constant altitude. When the Golden Eagle was first observed through  
  binoculars to the south my first impression was another Turkey Vulture but t
  he  dihedral was less. The bird then apparently caught an updraft south of 
  Mount  Zion and spiraled ever higher. I observed it with the scope first at 
  20 power  then finally 60 power before it headed north.  
  Some ventral observations: The bird was all brown, no banner marks, with  
  some lighter "golden" patches visible. The flight feathers were grayish brown 
   contrasting with the under wing coverts that were the same color as the 
  body. In  a glide the wrists were well forward of the head. The bird was 
  observed to flex  once. Time of observation: 1:00 p.m.
  Location:     West Rutland
  Observation date:   3/31/11
  Notes:     Grabowski Farm along Castleton  River.
  Number of species:     10

  Canada Goose   4
  Mallard     5
  Common Merganser   20
  Rock Pigeon     2
  Blue Jay   1
  American Crow     4
  Black-capped  Chickadee     1
  American Robin      3
  Red-winged Blackbird     13
  Common Grackle   2

  Location:     Castleton
  Observation  date:     3/31/11
  Notes:     Three of the toms  were strutting tails all fanned out.
  Number of species:      4

  Wild Turkey     20
  Killdeer      1
  Song Sparrow     1
  Red-winged Blackbird   3

  Location:     Lake Bomoseen-Castleton (2360  acres)
  Observation date:     3/31/11
  Notes:   Observations made from 4 stations around the lake. Very limited  
  open water. Canada Geese in large flock overhead moving north. Long-tailed 
  Ducks  diving and feeding together, digiscoped. 
  Number of species:   16

  Canada Goose     150
  Wood Duck   2
  Mallard     12
  Long-tailed Duck   2     An apparent pair.
  Hooded Merganser   2
  Common Merganser     28
  Ring-billed  Gull     3
  Mourning Dove     1
  Blue  Jay     2
  American Crow     7
  Tufted  Titmouse     2
  American Robin     6
  Song  Sparrow     2
  Red-winged Blackbird      9
  Common Grackle     7
  House Finch      2

  Location:     Lake Bomoseen/Hubbardton Marshes  IBA
  Observation date:     3/31/11
  Notes:      Observations made from 2 stations. A narrow channel of open 
  water at the very  north end extending about 100 m. Rest of lake frozen.  
  Single Tree Swallow  observed low over water while scoping ducks. Herring Gull 
  observed gulping down  what appeared to be an unduly large catfish.
  Number of species:   13

  Canada Goose     22
  Wood Duck   2
  American Black Duck     9
  Mallard   4
  Hooded Merganser     4
  Common  Merganser     3
  Herring Gull     1
  Blue  Jay     1
  American Crow     3
  Tree  Swallow     1
  Song Sparrow     2
  Red-winged  Blackbird     3
  Common Grackle      2

  Location:     Hubbardton Battlefield
  Observation  date:     3/31/11
  Notes:     Observations made  from the high point of the battlefield. Wind 
  had shifted to the south after  several days of north wind. Impending storm! 
  Golden Eagle, (adult), observed  taking advantage of an updraft to the 
  south of Zion Hill then spiraling very  high before heading north.
  Number of species:      9

  Turkey Vulture     3
  Red-tailed Hawk   1
  Golden Eagle     1
  Northern Flicker   1
  American Crow     8
  Common Raven   3
  Eastern Bluebird     1
  Red-winged  Blackbird     3
  American Goldfinch      1

  Location:     West Rutland Marsh IBA
  Observation  date:     3/31/11
  Notes:     Replenishing  feeders in anticipation of the Nor'easter!
  Number of species:   5

  Common Raven     1
  Black-capped  Chickadee     4
  American Tree Sparrow      1
  Song Sparrow     2
  Red-winged Blackbird   3

  Roy Pilcher
  The Gables at East Mountain, Rutland,  Vermont

  Speaking the same language.