Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Birding Lake Champain

On Sunday, I took a birding trip on Lake Champlain that was offered by UVM teacher Allan Strong, on the UVM research boat Melosira.

The idea was that we might get some better looks at species that would be difficult to see from land. Some of the rarer pelagic migrants that come down the lake don't hang around long, and often don't come close to either shore, so it sounded like a promising trip.

We left Thompson's Point at 7:00 am and motored north up the center of the lake to the "four brothers" islands, which are just south of the Burlington Waterfront. From there we turned south and followed the NY coast back down and then crossed back to our departure point by noon.

Right off the bat we started counting impressive numbers of common loons, with over 40 spotted in the first hour, mostly flying, though some were in the water. The really rare birds eluded us, but it was still cool to be out on the lake on a beautiful day, and I was able to add several species to my year list, which is shamefully low.

Here is a small flock of brant geese heading south down the lake.

No birding trip on or near the lake is complete without a look at a bald eagle. This one was remarkably tolerant of us motoring up for a closer view.                                                                                                                     

This is a map of the route with pinpoints for time and location on route..

Photos courtesy of Allan Strong and the crew of Melosira

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