An Ivory Gull is always worth the effort to take a look at. Newfoundland might have over 100 at the moment but one will do and so it was that we ventured over the border nto the USA and enjoyed a corking adult in trying conditions. In the usual twist of fate this bird chose to frequent an area of Lake Champlain at best 2km outside Quebec!
We arrived in perfect conditions, calm fine weather, nil wind. The bird showed at c300m or more, nice scope views but not what the camera desired. Slowly a distant squall dropped off the hills and proceded to push the ice the bird sat on closer to shore. We were perched on a stone jetty and I could see the bird was going to drift in nicely. Sandra, sensibly, went back to the car. I skipped like a nimble goat towards the end of the jetty and the bird did get close but so did the blizzard. I managed to get a couple of shots before taking time to wipe the lens. Sadly the bird took that opportunity to fly so I missed the flight shots I was after but at least got a perched shot.
Then we twitched a Tufted Duck! Just down the lake, well about 20 miles, a male Tufted Duck was enjoying spending the winter with a nice flock of Greater and Lesser Scaup. It was good to see so many wildfowl, the group even had a nice male Canvasback in there, a pretty scarce bird in Quebec. The ducks kept having little panic attacks and sure enough, a scan of the shore revealed a fine Bald Eagle, too distant to photograph well but great scope views.
Two North America ticks in one day is unusual locally and a visit out of Quebec was enjoyable, now its fingers crossed that the gull starts to wander north and we can all get it on our Quebec lists.
A taste of winter on Lake Champlain
It was a long way away, I was in New York State, it was in Georgia!