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With all the birders focusing on the Common Pochard near the southern 
end of open water in Lake Champlain over the last 10 days, Ron Payne and 
I thought it time to do another careful count of the most abundant 
waterfowl and gull species.  We viewed the region from four locations 
from the Champlain Bridge to DAR State Park. Lighting was good and 
waters with only minor ripples.  From our viewing locations we were able 
to count these same species in New York ice-margin waters as well.  
Nearly all the counts were made utilizing clicker counters, and counted 
the birds by individuals.

As anticipated, Common Goldeneyes have increased mightily in numbers 
(300 or so to over 4000) from December 31 though the past week, flooding 
in from staging areas over the border in Quebec.  Scaup are persisting 
at just under 2000, having decreased slowly from over 3500 in late 
October when they first arrived in abundance.

Here are the numbers of these high-number species from today's count.  
They, plus the other species of waterfowl present total about 6600 
birds, one of the higher numbers for ice-margin birds in early to 
mid-winter.

Common Goldeneye    4422
Lesser Scaup    1310
Common Merganser    643
Greater Scaup    370
Mallard    334
Black Duck    116

Details can be found at:
http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S12568948  (Champlain 
Bridge/Chimney Point area)
http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S12568980  (DAR State Park)

We saw a number of the continuing species of interest.  At both the 
bridge and at Potash Bay we saw a Glaucous Gull.  We've seen a Glaucous 
Gull at both locations recently, but do not know if it is the same bird, 
or if there are two.

Bald Eagles numbered 10.

Ian