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Roy -- I'm slow in posting a report on a walk I took along the Burlington waterfront yesterday (Tues.)  But if you / others are looking for Black-backs, there were 27 on a spit south of the bike path bridge that crosses the old canal south of the Water Treatment Plant (where a handsome Cooper's Hawk was perched on the roof).  There were also large numbers (over 100) of Ring-bills, Golden-eyes and Mallards as well as a couple groups of Common Mergansers and a handful of Herring Gulls.  

There were many more gulls and ducks down toward Oakledge Park -- hiding in the lea of the point from the strong south wind.  But I didn't have time to walk far enough south to get a good look.  Made me itch to see whether any gulls from the far north might be in the crowd yet.    Without the Intervale compost pile, it could be that the waterfront and Winooski Falls will be the best spots for gulls around Burlington this winter.

Scott Sainsbury
Moretown

On Dec 28, 2011, at 5:04 PM, Roy Pilcher wrote:

> After several visits to Benson Landing on Lake Champlain to chase down a  
> potential Great Black-backed Gull, to-day's visit finally put to  rest that 
> quest!  The lake is partly frozen and the two  Great Black-backed Gulls were 
> among a raft of active Common Merganser,  the former apparently taking 
> advantage of the efforts of the  latter.
> Also observed during the day, a flock of 28 Purple Finch along Stage  Road, 
> same area as previously seen, also a Northern Flicker embedded in a  flock 
> of American Robin and a Northern Shrike in West Haven. 
> As noted by other observers American Robin were on the move in various  
> aggregations. Also numerous Cedar Waxwing, one flock of 65 observed.
> 
> Benson  Landing, Rutland, US-VT
> Dec 28, 2011 10:50 AM - 11:30 AM
> Protocol:  Traveling
> 0.5 mile(s)
> Comments:     Lake 60% frozen.   Temperature 37 degrees F.
> 10 species
> 
> Common Merganser   85
> Ring-billed Gull  5
> Herring Gull  1
> Great Black-backed  Gull  2     Seemed to be taking advantage of Common  
> Merganser foraging.
> Downy Woodpecker  2
> American Crow   4
> Common Raven  1
> Eastern Bluebird  1
> American Robin   10
> Cedar Waxwing  2
> 
> This report was generated automatically by  eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/vt)
> 
> 
> Cheers,
> Roy Pilcher
> The Gables at East Mountain, Rutland,  Vermont
> 
> Speaking the same language.
>