Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, April 07, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} ~ April 7, 2014

Bird Notes

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society




Osprey at the Meadows (3/31)

Osprey fishing off the east bank of the Retreat Meadow

---Judith Kinley, Brattleboro, VT


Hinsdale Setback (4/2)

Great Blue Heron  1

Great Black-backed Gull  3

Herring Gull  4

Ring-billed Gull  2

Ring-necked Duck  72

Mallard  12

Common Merganser  8

Hooded Merganser  61

Canada Goose  14



Birders Asked to Seek and Report Rusty Blackbirds

The Rusty Blackbird is one of North America’s most rapidly declining species and is the focus of efforts by scientists and volunteers to better track the blackbird’s migration habits and stopover habits.

          The Rusty population has declined 85 to 95 percent since the mid-20th century. To this end, the Rusty Blackbird “Spring Migration Blitz” of 2014 is urging birders to go out between now and April 30th to see where they take breaks during their migration to boreal breeding grounds. Reports should be made through the online eBird checklist program. Birders can identify male Rusties in the spring by their glossy black plumage and the female by their rusty highlights on an otherwise silvery-gray body. The birds have pale yellow eyes.


 Rusty Blackbird ( female) © Cornell U.




          The “Spring Migration Blitz of 2014” is an international project planned and coordinated by Judith Scarkl of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies in Norwich, VT. More information is available at


A few new arrivals in Vernon this morning. (4/3)

Horned Grebes

Palm Warblers


---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


Report from Florida

Here in Florida, we've had a flock of black-bellied whistling ducks take up residence on our pond.


Black-bellied Whistling Ducks © Mark Mikolas







PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us.


Al Merritt



Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:






Tuesday, April 01, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} ~ April 01, 2014

Bird Notes

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society




Week 1 - Horned Grebe, Double Crested Cormorant, Northern Shoveler, Redhead, Long-tailed Duck, Osprey, Merlin, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Water Pipit, Loggerhead Shrike, Field Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow.

Week 2 - Common Loon, Red-necked Grebe, American Bittern, Black Scoter, American Coot, Greater  Yellowlegs, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow.

Week 3 - Cattle Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, Brant, Surf Scoter, Virginia Rail, Sora, Pectoral Sandpiper, Purple Martin, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow, Barn Swallow, Solitary Vireo, Louisiana Waterthrush, Rufous-sided Towhee.

Week 4 - Great Egret, Green-backed Heron, Glossy Ibis, White Winged Scoter, Common Moorhen, Solitary Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Upland Sandpiper, Chimney Swift, Eastern Kingbird, Cliff Swallow, House Wren, Marsh Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Thrasher, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Chipping Sparrow.




Listening to the Woodcock

This morning when I let the dog out at 6 am, I heard a,woodcock peenting in the marsh across the road from us ("Phyllis' Marsh")
---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT


Vernon Dam (3/23)

This afternoon I stopped in Vernon to check out the waterfowl above the dam. Among about 800 Canada geese were two classic hutchinsii-type cackling geese, apparently a pair. Feeling pretty chuffed at this, I then drove south to Blodgett rd to check out the waterfowl extravaganza. After a hour or so of watching about 3000+ geese and ducks pile into the cornfield, I walked back to my car and was getting in when I looked up and noticed a large dark bird circling above me. Thinking TV I put the glasses on it and saw that it was in fact a subadult golden eagle. And it was being mobbed by a red-tailed hawk (which looked minuscule by comparison). The eagle ignored the hawk and kept circling and drifting north up the Connecticut valley. Although it had an extensive and well developed golden crown and nape, it still had a little white in its tail and some white at the base of the primaries - maybe on its way into adult plumage. Not too shabby an afternoon.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD. Dummerston, VT


Golden Eagle  at Vernon VT, © James Smith



Goldeneyes, Westminster/Walpole 3/24

There is some nice open water from the Westminster/Walpole bridge over the Connecticut extending down to behind the Vet Clinic.  I saw a dozen Common Goldeneye going through courtship displays.  Very interesting to watch.  I was hoping to see a Barrows mixed in but no luck.  There were also three Common and two Hooded Mergansers

---Mitch Harrison, Alstead


Miller Farm (3/26)

Just a note to let you know we have 28 Snow Geese on the meadow north of VY.

Have had a regular flock of Horned Larks around the farm all winter.

---Paul Miller=, Vernon, VT



Yesterday(3/30) the subadult Golden Eagle was in its usual area at Vernon up until at least 3pm. At about 4.30 Rand Burnett and Eric Masterson had a subadult about  20 miles upriver at Walpole. Are these the same bird - I suspect not and think that there may be two on this stretch of the river.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD


This morning (3/30) Dave Johnson and I spent a couple of hours estimating the numbers of geese along the CT from Walpole in the north to Vernon in the south - approximately 20 miles. We estimated a total of 7,000-8,000 Canadas and about 40 snows. One massive flock of 5,000-6,000 cagos in Putney Meadows. Weather and viewing conditions were poor, which limited our count precision and prevented us from finding the rarities that were no doubt lurking among the cagos.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD


This morning (3/31) about 7,000 Canada Geese between Walpole and Vernon/Hinsdale. Also 4 Snow Geese. (Most of Canadas at Putney Meadows.)

---Hector Galbraith, Phd         


Great Meadows

An early Broad-wing Hawk near Great Meadows in Putney.

---Suki Russo


Woodcocks and More

Two Woodcocks are peenting tonight (4/1) across the street - one seems to be quite close to the road while the other sounds like it is back of the knoll.  A Bluebird has been house sitting for a couple of days - hope it will withstand the coming Tree Swallows and House Wrens.  Last year the House Wren waited to nest until after the Bluebirds were done! Yesterday there was a male Northern Harrier working over the field where the race track used to be in Hinsdale.

---Nori Howe, West Brattleboro, VT


West Brattleboro

Our resident Pileated Woodpecker has returned to creekside along Ames Brook on Greenleaf Street in West Brattleboro. The Tufted Titmice are giving out with their Spring  “Peter, Peter” call.



PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us.


Al Merritt



Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:


Sunday, March 23, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 23, 2014

Bird Notes

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society









Week 1American Kestrel, Kildeer, American Robin, Common Grackle

Week 2 –Northern Pintail, American Widgeon, Turkey Vulture, Northern Harrier, Northern Flicker,

            Eastern Bluebird, Song Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird

Week 3 – Pied-Billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Wood Duck, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Greater

            Scaup, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Red-shouldered Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Tree Swallow, Eastern


Week 4Snow Goose, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Red-breasted

            Merganser, Broad-winged Hawk, Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, American Woodcock, Common Snipe,

            Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Fox Sparrow




The Red-wing Blackbirds are back!  Heard one last evening in Westminster West...

---Judith Kinley, Brattleboro


Putney Area Sightings

Yesterday, on the last day of winter and before last night's snow, three RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD males showed up at our feeders. It was nice to see at least one sign of spring.

---Steve & Laurie Medved, Putney, Vt


Saw 40 Cedar Waxwings in the alders and multiflora rose by the side of Sand Hill Road in Putney today.  A little further afield saw 3 Turkey Vultures in Westminster and Bellows Falls for a first of the year sighting.  

---Tom Prunier


NOTICE! Bears Are Awake!

Just wanted to alert feeders/back country explorers that bears are awake.  I was hit at 8:43 this am.  Here in Manchester we just got a dusting in that last storm, so we don't have as much snow cover as Rutland and north, but it is still quite arctic here!  Oh well - an earlier than planned end to my feeding here.  He had done quite well for himself with suet and a Squirrel Buster he'd ripped down before I caught him, so I'm sure he'll be back!

---Courtney in Manchester, VT


Vernon Spring

Felt like spring today at Vernon with temperatures up to about 40 and the sun melting the snow and ice in the fields. In keeping with this, I had some migrants today in the form of 4 turkey vultures, 2 kestrels and about a dozen wood ducks. Also there were a mixed flock of about 450 mallard and black ducks and many singing passerines including, r- w blackbirds, cardinals, mockers, song sparrows, house finches, robins and Carolina wrens.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD, Dummerston, VT


Counting Red-tailed Hawks

Our 540 mile trip to Toronto to visit  grandchildren is also a great opportunity to count Redtails.  Our previous record day count was 36 but today's was a spectacular 42.  4 in Ontario, 28 in NY and 10 in MA. The short section of I91 between the Pike and the Holyoke Range lived up to it's Redtail Alley nickname by providing 8 of the 10 MA birds.

---Tom Prunier






PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us.


Al Merritt