Hello VTBirders,

The North Branch Nature Center's trip to Lake Champlain proved to be very
productive today, with eight participants tallying fifteen species of ducks
at six locations along the shore.  Land Birds (Snow Buntings, Larks,
Longspurs) were notably absent.  Some highlights are included below:

 - A Mallard pair courting and copulating at Shelburne Bay.
 - A Cooper's Hawk flying into the open window of a barn at the top of Fort
Cassin Road.  It never exited while we were there.
 - A Rough-legged Hawk off Hawkins Road.
 - Bald Eagles in good numbers!  2 adults at Shelburne Bay.  At least 15 at
Fort Cassin Bay feeding on the ice.  And another 3 near Champlain Bridge.
 - Red-breasted Mergansers... 2 males at Meach Cove and 2 more at Charlotte
Town Beach.
 - A male Northern Pintail at Charlotte Town Beach.
 - Horned Grebe close to shore at Charlotte Town Beach (also seen at Meach
Cove and Shelburne Point)
 - Eastern Bluebird at the Champlain Bridge
 - Continuing rarities from Champlain Bridge area, including Tufted Duck,
Barrow's Goldeneye, Canvasback, and Redhead, and thousands of scaup and
goldeneye.  Despite our efforts, the Pochard was not seen.  Ducks have been
pushed back from the bridge by the advancing ice, and it will be
interesting to see where they end up as temperatures dip next week and ice
continues to displace the birds.

Good Birding,

Larry Clarfeld
Environmental Educator
Youth Birding Coordinator

North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm St.
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-6206
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