Print

Print


I made it down to the bridge around 4:10 PM with Ted Murin and met 
Brendan Collins, Tyler Pockette, Justin LeClaire, and Larry Haugh. The 
Pochard had been relocated and soon we all had looks at the bird, 
although the light was fading fast.  The last we saw of the Pochard, it 
was flying north up the Lake, but at that time, the entire 
scaup/goldeneye flock was getting antsy and moving around. Although it 
did not obviously return to the main flock, the light was sufficiently 
poor that it could have ended up just a little out of scope range.

We saw the bird from underneath the Vermont side of the Crown Point 
bridge.  Most of the birds were foraging within about 300 m of shore.  
The Pochard was primarily in the company of scaup.  Although I didn't 
see the Tufted Duck, Tyler and Brendan had seen it a few minutes earlier 
(although not the Harlequin).

It would be great to get a few more pictures of the bird. There doesn't 
appear to be any doubt that it is a Common Pochard, but additional photo 
documentation would be wonderful.  We did not see the potential female 
so further information on that bird would also be helpful.  While we 
observed the Pochard, it was not in the company of another bird and for 
a while it was slightly isolated from the rest of the flock.  Because 
the flock is so large, picking the bird out of the crowd is the most 
difficult task but the light back color is probably the easiest field 
mark as scanning for "red heads" ends up with a lot of stalls on female 
mergansers and goldeneyes.

I got a follow-up email from Jeremiah Trimble (eBird editor for MA and 
Curatorial Associate at the Museum of Comparative Zoology) who writes:

"As you may know there is a record for Quebec of Common Pochard from 
Spring of 2008. Other than that there is not much (nothing?) from 
eastern North America!  There was also a flock of 4 (I believe it was 4) 
in Barbados in 2011.

The question of origin is of course a worry but given the company 
(Tufted Duck) and the presence of other European birds in the East 
(Little Egret, Northern Lapwings) I personally wouldn't go down the 
escapee route...tough though. "

So, as you can see, this is a very special bird.  Good luck in 
relocating it.

Allan


-- 

*******************************************************************
Allan M. Strong
University of Vermont
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
220L Aiken Center

81 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, VT 05405
802-656-2910
*******************************************************************