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As has been previously reported by Larry Haugh, yesterday was a great 
gull day at the southern reaches of open water of Lake Champlain.  Ron 
Payne, Spencer Hardy, and I viewed from three locations from Potash Bay 
in Addison north to Turkey Lane in Panton.

 From the shore at Potash Bay, looking beyond the ice fishermen on the 
frozen bay, at the edge of ice there were 2200 gulls ... which we first 
saw in flight (likely eagle spooked), and then counted as they sat and 
slept on the ice margin.  They appeared to be predominantly Ring-billed 
Gulls, along with Herring, Great-black Backed and the three Iceland 
Gulls seen by Ted Murin later in the day. Also there two White-winged 
Scoters were seen flying low over the water.

 From Turkey Lane, we discovered the adult, beautifully plumaged 
Slaty-backed Gull (see checklist for details) on and around Mud Island 
along with Greater Black-backed, Herring, many Ring-billed Gulls and one 
immature Glaucous Gull.  Ted Murin, Larry Haugh, and Jim Phillips joined 
us to further confirm the Slaty-backed Gull. Interestingly, at one point 
we were viewing the bird while standing on exposed rocks on the shore 
beneath a cliff.  The rocks were slabs of slate ... exactly the same 
color as the back of the appropriately named Slaty-backed Gull!

After we left Ted, Larry, and Jim found an immature Iceland Gull on Mud 
Island.  Also in attendance were a pair of Redheads, a couple of 
Ring-necked Ducks, and several other duck species.

The Turkey Lane checklist is at: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S13247061

The Potash Bay checklist is at: 
http://ebird.org/ebird/vt/view/checklist?subID=S13246999

If you head to Turkey Lane, note that the walk down to the lake from the 
parking area is very icy ... unannounced quick descents are possible!

Ian