Winter Regulars & Rarities Field Trip
Sunday, January 13, 2019 at 1:59PM
Sue Elliott in ffield trips

The temperature for this year’s Winter Regulars and Rarities in the Champlain Valley was brutally cold with the day starting around one degree. Fortunately, there was no wind for most of the day and the sunshine made for spectacular scenery along the route.

A quick stop at a turkey farm in Orwell yielded nine bald eagles and a very large number of ravens. We also saw a rough-legged hawk, a dark phase bird, which looked beautiful in flight against the bright blue sky.

Then it was on to find open water along Lake Champlain and hopefully some ducks. Although the water was open at the Champlain Bridge, it had frozen overnight so our first stop was at DAR State Park. There we observed a large number of common goldeneye with a few scaup and American black ducks mixed in along with a handful of mallards.

Lapland LongspurAt the Tri-Town Water District in Panton we found more goldeneye, about 750 with uncounted number around the corner and mostly out of sight. We also saw an immature bald eagle at this spot.

On Walker Road in Ferrisburgh we spotted a large flock of horned larks, some flying in fairly close and landing. We were able to pick out at least three Lapland longspurs in the group and a single snow bunting. A large flock of about 150 snow buntings were seen early on Schoolhouse Road in Vergennes.

At Converse Bay we found a belted kingfisher, Canada goose, mallard, including a mallard x American black duck hybrid, bufflehead, and more goldeneye.

The Charlotte Ferry Landing was mostly frozen, with no birds in the water. At Charlotte Town Beach we encountered our first wind of the day so we did not stay long. There were mallards, ring-billed gulls, bufflehead and goldeneye present.

We ended the day at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area and, in the fading light, saw two northern harriers, a rough-legged hawk, a red-tailed hawk and two short-eared owls.

A total of 10 eBird checklists were submitted for the day, representing 35 species.

Thanks to C. J. Frankiewicz for leading the trip. It was great to be out in the sunshine despite the cold temperatures. The list:

Canada Goose
Mallard
American Black Duck
Mallard x American Black Duck hybrid
Greater/Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Wild Turkey
Mourning Dove
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
European Starling
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
House Sparrow

 

 

 

Canada Goose
Mallard
American Black Duck
Mallard x American Black Duck hybrid
Greater/Lesser Scaup
Bufflehead
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser
Wild Turkey
Mourning Dove
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Eastern Bluebird
European Starling
Lapland Longspur
Snow Bunting
House Sparrow

 

 

Article originally appeared on Rutland County Audubon Society - Birds and Bird Watching in Rutland County, Vermont, USA (http://rutlandcountyaudubon.org/).
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