Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

{BIRD NOTES} ~ December 07, 2016


Bird Notes


Barrows Goldeneye

On December 4th a male Barrows Goldeneye was reported being seen in the Connecticut River at Hinsdale.


Bird in the Window

We had a window-stunned shrike here a week ago.  I decided to give it room, but

pretty sure it was a loggerhead.  Somebody landed nearby and scolded the hell out

of it.  I heard the scolding -- two bouts -- but did not get to the window in time to

ID the scolder.   The shrike eventually flew off.  
---Bob Engel, Marlboro, VT


Report from Wilmington

Wonderful to hear all those new bird names from Bhutan!

We have noticed a void in the usual viewing of flocks of Canada Geese.

Actually have not heard one flock and we have been out and about this fall  as

usual.  Always over the past 50 years we have seen and heard them fall and spring. 

Feeder birds are the usual chickadees, blue jays, both nuthatches and

woodpeckers, a  couple of mourning doves, a few goldfinch and purple finches, a

couple of cardinals, a titmouse and one evening grosbeak this morning.  Pileated

is about in the woods and raven overhead.

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT



                                                            Evening Grosbeak © Google


Winterizing for Wildlife

  • As fall becomes winter and temperatures drop, make your backyard more

     inviting to wildlife. 

  • Provide songbirds with suet and other high-calorie foods such as peanut

     butter and chopped nuts.

  • Make sure local wildlife has a reliable source of water, not just to drink, but

     also to bathe in order to keep their insulating feathers clean.

  • Shelter is particularly important in winter, as wildlife needs cover from both

     predators and cold weather. Collect fallen branches, twigs and leaves to add    

     to your brush pile, to increase shelter for small animals.





Expect typical movement of the following species into their normal winter ranges (i.e. no irruption).

Pine Siskin  These opportunistic nomads prefer Nyjer and sunflower chips.

Red-breasted Nuthatch  Watch for them at feeders. They prefer seed blends with sunflower, peanuts and tree nuts and they like suet products.

Pine Grosbeak  Not a typical feeder bird. When they visit feeders they prefer seed blends with sunflower.

Red Crossbill   Not a typical feeder bird. Usually feeds on conifer seeds.

Bohemian Waxwing  Not a typical feeder bird. When they visit feeders they prefer seed blends with fruits and sunflower.

White-winged Crossbill  Not a typical feeder bird. Usually feeds on conifer seeds.



Birds that may irrupt in small numbers in localized areas include the following:

Purple Finch Watch for them at feeders. They prefer Nyjer and sunflower seed.

Common Redpoll  and Hoary Redpoll 

·                            Look for Hoary’s mixed in with flocks of Commons.

·                            Watch for them at feeders. They prefer Nyjer and sunflower.

Evening Grosbeak  Watch for them at feeders. They prefer sunflower seeds.

Blue Jay  Watch for them at feeders. They prefer peanuts, tree nuts and sunflower seeds.






PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we

can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:




Saturday, November 26, 2016

{BIRD NOTES}~ Nov. 23, 2016

Bird Notes




I saw a flock of Cedar Waxwings in the flowering crab trees at the former  Prouty Center at the corner of Oak & High.. Also saw a mature Bald Eagle Sunday AM as I was driving north on I-91 at

mile marker 16.6 (about a mile before the Putney exit).

---Hollie Bowen, Brattleboro,VT


In late September I was scoping gulls at the St. Albans Town Park, when I noticed a Ring-billed with a band on its leg.  I was able to read the number, so I decided to report it.  Today I received an email letting me know that the bird was a female and had been banded in Varennes, Que in June of 2015 by somebody from the University of Quebec at Montreal.  Varennes is on the St. Lawrence River, a little east of Montreal, and about 2 hours north of St. Albans. They also indicated that it was hatched in 2012 or earlier.  Kind of fun to know a bit about the history of the bird!  

---Nori Howe, West Brattlebro, VT


I saw a Black-crowned Night Heron on Tues 10/4 at the pond next to the rowing shed by the Marina.  (The pond with the big antenna in it.)

--- Phyllis Benay, Brattleboro, VT        



Carol Weiss:

Birding Tour in Bhutan

Bhutan is a difficult place to get around and to get to. It has a population of 200,000 and the capital city of Thimphu has no traffic lights. (They tried them and didn’t like them!) The only remaining Himalayan Buddhist Kingdom, Bhutan was closed to outsiders until 1960. English is used as the language of business in the Bhutanese government.

Their transportation on the tour was a Toyota bus from which they birded and which they also used as a blind. Their bus was supported by two trucks which carried their tents, sleeping bags, portable showers, luggage, food, etc.  Roads in the country are only 20ft wide and the country is currently undergoing a road improvement project. While on the tour they only spent five nights sleeping in tents, however the tent latrine was set up for them every time they stopped.  The remainder of their nights were spent in hotels. The highest hotel in which they stayed was the Dochula Resort at an elevation of 10,000ft, providing them with a 360 degree view of the sacred mountains. Their buildings are elaborately painted and traditionally built.

The Bhutanese have a policy of Gross National Happiness. Traditional dress is required for schools, government workers and those who have contact with tourists.  Carol reported that they saw many monks while touring Bhutan. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan, and they use both traditional and compound bows.  Everyone works in Bhutan. Jobs are assigned on a local basis and the women do most of the roadwork. 

Carol shared her photos of some of the flora of Bhutan.  She said Primroses were everywhere. We saw beautiful photos of Iris, Jack-in-the-Pulpit three feet high, giant ferns (fiddleheads were often served for dinner), Red Rhododendron, Pink Rhododendron, Azaleas, and invasive White Snakeroot. Fauna seen included Large-eared Pika, Macaque, and Capped Langur. Domestic animals seen were dogs, Yaks (domestic and wild), dairy cattle, Southern Red Muntjac, and the national animal the Takin.

According to Carol’s research, 70% of Bhutan is forested and protected.  On her tour 240 species were seen by the group.  She herself saw 220 species, 170 of which were life birds.  There are four kinds of pheasants in Bhutan and she showed photos of the Blood Pheasant and the Kalij Pheasant.  Next came photos of the stunningly beautiful Satyr Tragopan, Snow Pigeon, Oriental Turtle Dove, Black-tailed Crake, Ibisbill (a 16” long shorebird), Verditer Flycatcher, Small Niltava, Himalayan Bluetail, Gray Bushchat, Plain-backed Thrush (25% bigger than our robin), White-tailed Nuthatch, Paddyfield Pipit, Coal Tit, Olive-backed Pipit, Great Hornbill, and Rufous-necked Hornbill.  We also saw photos of: Green-tailed Sunbird, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide (tiny birds about 5” in length), Hoary-throated Barwing, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler, Rufous Sibia, Striated bulbul, Pale-billed Parrotbill, White-crested Laughingthrush, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, Bhutan Laughingthrush, and the White-throated Laughingthrush.  The last photos she shared were of the Oriental White-eye, Strip-throated Yuhina, and the Brown-throated Treecreeper. 

--Carol Weiss is a member of the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club of Orange County, NY


I sent a copy of this to Dr. Burton Tepfer previously of BMH, who has been to Bhutan on business a couple of times.  He sent me this reply:

Hey Al,

I'm in Bhutan now, as it happens.   This is my third visit for a month each, volunteering to teach at the hospital in the capital, Thimphu. I haven't been able to get to the prime birding areas here this time.  Nice to hear someone has done some serious birding as there are so many birds here, and many have really never found their way into books. Yesterday I did see one bird that I did get pictures of last visit, the Himalyan Monal, an exquisite pheasant with wonderful colors- irridescent indigo in the male... georgeous.     

                    Only one other comment- the population here is more like 700,000 people.  It is small, but not that small.



Addison Snow Geese

Saturday was a good day to take another suite of photos of the Snow Geese at Dead Creek WMA from the air.  At about 11:30 am the flock was assembled right at the front of the viewing area along Route 17, very densely packed.  6796 geese were counted by individuals from the photos.  Searched by air Lake Champlain south from the mouth of Otter Creek to Ticonderoga, as well as most of western Addison County, but found no other flocks, large or small, of Snow Geese.

Back on the 8th of November, a similar count from photos from the air at the WMA was 7522 geese.

---Ian Worley, VTBIRD


PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we

can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding



Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:





Friday, June 17, 2016

{BIRD NOTES ~ June 17, 2016}

Bird Notes





If anyone is hearing or seeing Whip-poor-wills please let me know. 

We are doing a census.

---Susan James, Guilford, VT



Woodpecker Eatery with Visitor Wren

The Downy, the Hairy and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers visit my suet feeder

regularly.  Plus a very loud Carolina Wren that calls from the trees, and then

feeds under the suet feeder.  

---Lynn Martin, West Brattleboro,VT



West B. Bobolinks in Trouble

Bobolinks that were nesting in the farm fields along Abbott Road probably

have been destroyed with the early mowing by local farmers.. The two fields

belonging to the Land Trust are still intact and have a few birds taking

advantage. But it is only a fraction of the local population.


Because of the drop in numbers of this and other grassland species due to

habitat loss, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife had urged

landowners not to mow their fields until August 1st. Fields other than the Land

Trust fields were mowed the first week in June. ! ! ? ?


---Al & Barb






S V A S   P R O G R A M


Ranger Life in Yellowstone:



Tuesday, June 21


Wendy Redlinger grew up in Yellowstone Park for the first 13 years of her life,

daughter of Frank Anderson.Frank left his New Jersey home in his late 20's for

a seasonal park ranger position one summer and never turned back! Wendy will

share some of her dad's slides of birds/wildlife and daily ranger life - summer

and winter - as well as a few of his 'log' entries and her own personal

reminiscences of that special childhood.


This is presented by Audubon Society of Southeastern Vermont

and will be held in the Brattleboro Library's conference room at 7:00 pm.







PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us, so we

 can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.


Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

{BIRD NOTES ~ June 15, 2016}

Bird Notes





Mary wanted me to send you a picture of a mother Common Merganser

and her six ducklings. We were paddling at the Lily Pond here in

Vernon. We stopped to eat breakfast on an island when they swam by.

When we first saw them the little ones were riding on the mother’s

back. Sorry the image isn’t more clear, but they were going away

from us .

Thanks for your sending the bird news.

---Paul Miller, Vernon, VT



I saw a Great Blue Heron fly over the Retreat Meadows (6/9)

---Kevin O”Keefe


Yellow Warbler heard, then seen sitting on fence post along Abbott Road in West Brattleboro. (6/10)


Hildene - Lincoln Family Home, Bennington, Vermont,

May 28, 2016 6:45 AM - 9:25 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.0 mile(s)

Comments:  70 degrees, sunny, 36 species:

  1. Canada Goose  2
  2. Ruffed Grouse  1    (heard only)
  3. Mourning Dove  1
  4. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
  5. Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
  6. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
  7. Pileated Woodpecker  1
  8. Eastern Wood-Pewee  3
  9. Eastern Phoebe  2
  10. Great Crested Flycatcher  2
  11. Red-eyed Vireo  9
  12. Blue Jay  3
  13. American Crow  9
  14. Tree Swallow  1
  15. Black-capped Chickadee  2
  16. Tufted Titmouse  4
  17. White-breasted Nuthatch  2
  18. House Wren  1
  19. Eastern Bluebird  2
  20. Veery  3
  21. Wood Thrush  2
  22. American Robin  7
  23. Gray Catbird  4
  24. Ovenbird  8
  25. Black-and-white Warbler  5
  26. Common Yellowthroat  6
  27. Chestnut-sided Warbler  2
  28. Black-throated Blue Warbler  3
  29. Pine Warbler  1
  30. Black-throated Green Warbler  1
  31. White-throated Sparrow  3
  32. Song Sparrow  3
  33. Northern Cardinal  M&F   (Female carrying long piece of grass)
  34. Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
  35. Indigo Bunting  3
  36. American Goldfinch  1

---Submitted by Ruth Stewart, E. Dorset, VT



A Thoughtful Offer by Marj and Malcom Wright

We are downsizing and going through books that we no longer need. I have a nice

copy of Eliot Porter’s “Birds of North America: A Personal Selection”. It’s a

first edition from 1972 and in decent condition. Beautiful color and black and

white photographs.  I thought that someone in the Audubon group might like to

have this, for free,  and that you could post this offer in your next email, if not

a bother.



Marj Wright


Malcolm & Marj Wright



PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us, so we

 can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding experiences.


Al Merritt


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:






                                                  {See next Page}à


Field Walk on Black Mountain

Monday, June 20th, 6:00 p.m.

Explore signs of Glacial Lake Hitchcock.

Meet at Dummerston covered bridge parking lot to carpool to site.