Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA
Saturday, October 10th was a crystal clear, brisk day at Plum Island. Spent several hours combing the usual spots. Fairly quiet except for hundreds of Black Ducks, the typical array of gulls--Laughing, Black Backed and Cormorants lining the rocks along the beach area.
Highlights though were, too many to count and everywhere, Greater Yellowlegs; one lone Golden Plover causing quite a commotion among the dozen or so birders with scopes;
one Eurasion Wigeon; and a dozen or so Northern Pintails.
---Phyllis Benay, Brattleboro, VT
Snow Geese at Dead Creek Viewing Area in Addison
I know a few folks were asking about the arrival of the Snow Geese at
the Dead Creek Goose Viewing station - as of today there were roughly 300
of them, so it would appear that the arrival has begun. As of now the
western end of the Viewing platform still has corn stalks, so you'd only be
able to see the geese on the eastern side where the corn has been cut. You
may also see a glimpse of white from Rte 22A heading south, just past the
intersection of 22A & Rte 17.
Dave Hof and I saw them from Gage Rd, but a scope was required to see them
well & count them. [Gage Rd is located on the right hand side of the
road, about an 1/8th of a mile south of 22A & 17.]
So if you're in the general area I'd start checking weekly to see the
numbers climb. While there we also had the following birds:
a flock of about 25 American Pipits,
1 Northern Harrier,
1 Eastern Meadowlark,
3 American Kestrels,
lots of Turkey Vultures & Canada Geese,
4 Rock Pigeons,
6 American Crows,
1 Bald Eagle,
2+ Savannah Sparrows,
Despite the strong winds the birding was quite nice (but then when isn't
Isis Erb, Burlington, VT
Walking in my marsh this morning, I saw a Coopers Hawk swoop down somewhere further along the path. Stopped along the way to watch one lone Common Yellowthroat and a Marsh Wren, and then found the remnants of the hawk's breakfast. Just the head, some tissue, and feathers remained. Looks like a catbird, but I thought they were gone.
2015--2016 Winter Finch Forecast*
PURPLE FINCH: Many (not all) should migrate south out of Ontario this fall because cone and deciduous tree seed crops are generally low in northern Ontario. Purple Finches winter in numbers in the north only when the majority of tree seed crops are bumper. An easy way to tell Purple Finches from House Finches is by checking the tip of the tail; it is distinctly notched or slightly forked in Purple and squared off in House Finch. Purples prefer sunflower seeds at feeders.
RED CROSSBILL: Expect a scattering of Red Crossbills in the East this winter.
WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL: This crossbill moves back and forth like a pendulum across the boreal forest looking for bumper spruce cone crops and irrupts south only in years of widespread cone crop failures. It is hoped that White-winged Crossbills will move into the northern New England States and the Adirondack Mountains in New York State where spruce cone crops are very good.
COMMON REDPOLL: Similar to last winter, expect a southward movement because birch seed crops are low to average across the boreal forest. At feeders redpolls prefer nyger seeds served in silo feeders.
PINE SISKIN: They should occur in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, the northern New England States, and the Atlantic Provinces which have very good spruce cone crops. Their wheezy calls are the best way to identify siskins flying overhead. At feeders they prefer nyger seeds in silo feeders.
EVENING GROSBEAKS: This spectacular grosbeak should be watched for in the Adirondacks and northern New England. Evening Grosbeaks prefer black oil sunflower seeds.
*Excerpts from Ron Pittaway’s winter finch forecast.
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Al Merritt firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society: www.sevtaudubon.org