Lake Champlain from Jones Dock Rd. in Bridport - Photo by Ian Worley

In an attempt to find a place to view waterfowl close to home, Cornwall resident Ian Worley recently began investigating the section of Lake Champlain south of the the Champlain Bridge crossing in Bridport and Shoreham. His results from this region have been outstanding and eye opening to those of us who might have dismissed that area in favor of more publicized hot spots further north. Between Leonard Bay in Shoreham to just south of McCuen Slang in Bridport from November 11 to December 13, 2010 he tallied 18 species of waterfowl, the centerpiece of which has been a consistent 2000+ bird raft of Scaup. Amongst the Scaup have been some rarities such as Harlequin Duck, Canvasback and a probable Redhead sighting. As the picture above in which 940 birds are not visible to the naked eye implies, a scope is mandatory equipment when attempting to bird in this area. Coincidentally Ian’s survey of the area was given more significance when he was assigned a block in the Middlebury Christmas Bird Count that covers this section of the lake. Unfortunately he will not be able to add this great collection of waterfowl to the count as this section of lake has been completely frozen over as of December 15. A full list of species observed by Ian on the water over this time period follows below.

– Ron Payne

Common Loon
Horned Grebe
Snow Goose
Canada Goose
Black Duck
Redhead (probable)
Ring-necked Duck
Greater Scaup
Lesser Scaup
Harlequin Duck
Long-tailed Duck
Common Goldeneye
Hooded Merganser
Common Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser

Bonapart’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black Backed Gull

Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Bald Eagle