Birding in the Parks

Looking to enjoy the VT State Parks in the Winter? With all of the birding activity at DAR we have plowed parking spaces and of course in the winter time there is no entrance fee. So head on out and go birding. Here is the latest information from VTBIRD on what's going on in the bird world in Southwestern Vermont! 

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:  (Champlain Bridge/Chimney Point area)
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.


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