Yesterday, I took a drive with the dog down to Warren, VT to check out Blueberry Lake where friends of mine are always running into interesting birds. It was a cold windy day with flurries and I was happy for four-wheel drive in a couple of spots.
The lake, which appears to be a Forest Service impoundment, is very small and snuggles up to the Green Mountain National Forest. Parking and letting Penny out to roam, I took the scope down to the water and immediately regretted leaving my leather mittens back at the truck. I was cold and the water was rough from the stiff wind, and the sun glare was awful. But, I was out birding so big deal. I did spot five dark objects bobbing around way out there but had no idea what sort of duck they were.
The lake has several access points and as I drove around it, I got to a spot where the light was good, but the wind was straight in my face off the water. Walking down toward the lake with the telescope, I saw what appeared to be a Blue Jay whiz by me but then I saw it hover in mid-air, like an American Kestrel, with its wings going a mile a minute. I got the binoculars on it and thought, “That’s not a Blue Jay … perhaps a shrike.”
It flew off to the top of a nearby small tree and through the bouncing scope (from the gusty wind) I could see it clearly. I snapped off some digiscope shots and then watched it hunt again, using the wind as buffer, and returning to the same branch. Then it saw the dog and vanished.
I was then able to get a good look at the five ducks and identified three Mallards and two Least Scaup (which are a County Year bird for me — #145), before they flew. It was only a half hour drive back to Red Hen Bakery for coffee and roll with Mary. Good morning outing.