#ABArare - Common Pochard - Vermont
Ron Payne went to the Lake Champlain Bridge, which crosses Lake Champlain between Chimney Point, VT and Crown Point, NY, for some New Year's Day birding. While there, he found a Glaucous Gull, White-winged Scoter, two Barrow's Goldeneyes, and a male Tufted Duck (Code 3, but not the subject of this blog post!). He was joined by Ian Worley. Worley spotted a bird that they initially identified as a male Redhead, albeit with some reservations. After viewing Payne's photos, Jeremiah Trimble identified it instead as a Common Pochard, which like Tufted Duck, is a Code 3 species, though it is actually much more difficult to find in the ABA Area. Most sightings are from Alaska. There's only one previous record from the East, a bird in Quebec in the spring of 2008, and just three others from the Lower 48, all from California. Additionally, there's a record from Saskatchewan.
The initial report and Trimble's re-identification were sent to the VTBIRDS listserv quickly enough for other birders to get out and see the Pochard later the same day (Jan 1). It and the Tufted Duck were also seen at the same location, north of the bridge on Jan 2.
The Lake Champlain Bridge is located at the south end of Lake Champlain, about 30 miles south of Burlington, VT and about 50 miles south of Plattsburgh, NY. There's a map here. The Pochard was initially spotted from the bridge, but it's also been seen from below the bridge, too. It sounds like the latter location is potentially more comfortable. Check VTBIRDS for updates.