Birdnotes

Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, December 08, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} December 8, 2014

Bird Notes

 

 

 

Coot Meets Eagle

Birding down at Vernon Dam on the Connecticut River, I noticed what looked like a big black phalarope swimming around in on of the ice-free pools. On putting the scope on it I realized that it was a coot with its neck fully extended upward and swimming in tight circles. Looked very agitated. I realized why when one of the local adult bald eagles rocketed into the field of view, dropped its talons and made a pass at the coot, which immediately dived in a gout of water. The eagle circled back around and begun hovering like some giant kestrel above the spot where the coot dived. After about 20 seconds the coot surfaced and the eagle dived on it. The coot then dived again to evade a surprise demise and the eagle began its hovering again. This happened about 4 times over the course of a couple of minutes. At no time was the coot able to spend any more than a second or so on the surface and, my guess, was unable to replenish its oxygen supply. Eventually, the coot was  barely able to get under the surface at which time the eagle splashed down into the water where the coot had dived. The eagle lay on the water surface with its wings outstretched for buoyancy for about 30 seconds then took off, at which time I saw that it was holding in its talons the struggling coot. The eagle carried the coot (which was stretching its neck out and peering around and kicking its legs) to a half-submerged log where the eagle began to eat its prey alive.   Nature red in tooth and claw?

---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT

 

 

Goose Viewing Area, Dead Creek, Addison, VT

Yesterday morning a small group of birders from the Hampshire Bird Club of Amherst, MA stopped by Gage Road and the Goose Viewing area at Dead Creek WMA and made a count-based estimate of 4500 Snow Geese.  Thanks to Mike Locher for submitting the numbers to eBird. (Delightfully, I happened to meet up with the group at Tri-town later in the day.) Then, late afternoon yesterday (11/17) I happened by the Goose Viewing area while a very large flock settled over the course of several minutes; there were two other flocks already on the ground.  By counts of 50s converted to 100s, then converted to 400s and then to 1000s I came up with 4000 birds visible to me.  When I first saw them, my initial estimate bracket was at least 3500 and not over 5000 Snow Geese visible.  None of the birds were right by the road, but they were in several, easy-to-view groups at various distances.

---Ian Worley, from VTBird

 

                      

Audubon’s 115th Christmas Bird Count

The count for the Brattleboro area will be held on Saturday, December 20th. Whether the day is mild or frigid, clear skies or cloudy, on Count Day there will be 25-30 people working in 7 teams that will scour the prescribed area around Brattleboro counting birds There will also be several people staying at home counting birds and listing species that visit their feeding stations.

 

YOU CAN TAKE PART!

*Join one of the seven Field Teams that count birds in the area. If you are a beginning birder, don’t worry, you will be in a group that includes experienced birders.

*If your home is within the boundaries of the Brattleboro Area Count, you can stay home and report the birds that visit your feeders.

 

How to do a feeder count:

You do not have to watch continuously. When you do look at your feeders, note the number of each species At the end of the day, report the highest single count for each species. For example, if during the day, you count chickadees in the numbers of 3,7,2,5,3,4 – the number that you would report is 7.

 

To join a team or to do a feeder count you should contact Chris Petrak (802) 348-6301 or e-mail him at chrsptrk@svcable.net

 

There will be a “Compilation Pot Luck Supper” at 6:00pm that evening at Hollie Bowen’s home at 19 Whipple Street, Brattleboro. You may call (802) 254-9087 for directions.

 

 

 

PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we can all enjoy reading about your birding experiences.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Al Merritt  chpmnkx@sover.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:   www.sevtaudubon.org

 

 

 

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} November 04, 2014

Bird Notes

 

 

 

Two days ago (10/14) several dozen Pine Siskins descended on my trees full of energy and conversation -zzzzzz all over the place.

They fed and then calmed down and rested and preened.

---Susan James, Guilford, VT

                                                       

 

The weather cooperated in creating a scoteriffic morning (10/23) above Vernon Dam with a tight raft of 30 Black Scoters and a separate raft of 6 Surf Scoters including one adult male. Also present- 1 Pied-billed Grebe, 2 D-c Cormorants, 1 C. Merganser, 2 Black Ducks, 2 Mallards, and 1 R-b Gull.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro

 

 

For those Windham County birders not too proud to cross the river, there was a white-eyed vireo at Hinsdale this morning (10/21). It was at the upriver of the two parking areas.

---Hector Galbraith, PhD

National Wildlife Federation

 

 

West Brattleboro Sightings

White-throated Sparrow

FOX SPARROW

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER

Slate-colored Junco

Purple Finch

Tufted Titmouse

 

 

October 21, 2014 – Roy Pilcher reports 1,200 geese, including new arrivals, at the Goose Viewing Area on Route 17.

---VTbird

 

 

 

 

What Can We Do in the Residential Landscape to Help Protect Birds?

First, keep pet cats indoors. The mere presence of a cat can affect the breeding success of a nesting bird. "A parent bird reduces the rate at which it feeds nestlings when it glimpses a cat," writes John Marzluff in a new book, "Welcome to Subirdia," in which he argues that suburban landscapes can offer vital habitat for beleaguered bird species.

 

---Editor’s Note  From agway.com:

To protect birds from outdoor cats, position feeders at least 10 feet from shrubs and bushes. Placing a decorative wire fence in front of flowerbeds and shrubs can also keep predators from using that cover to approach birds, or a fence or cage can be placed around feeders to give birds a safe place to feed. The same precautions should be used around bird baths as well. To protect bird houses: To protect nesting birds and their young, choose safe birdhouse designs with a steep roof and no perches that cats and other predators can use to reach vulnerable young birds. Mounting bird houses on metal poles or hanging hooks out of range of jumping cats can also prevent hunting cats from climbing up to the house.

 

In the garden, we can choose to grow plants that foster abundant insect life (oak trees are much commended), or provide winter berries, or simply offer cover from predators and a place to roost. Bird feeders help (keep them away from windows to avoid collisions). Fresh water acts as a magnet for birds. If you have birdbaths, change the water regularly in summer to thwart mosquitoes, and in winter to replace ice.

 

 

PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we

 can all enjoy reading about your birding experiences.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Al Merritt  chpmnkx@sover.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:   www.sevtaudubon.org

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

{BIRD NOTES} October 16, 2014

Bird Notes

 

This morning (10/15) at the Marina fields were at least one, possibly two Vesper Sparrows, not a common bird around here. Also still around were a Phoebe, two Eastern Palms, and a few Lincolns sparrows
---Hector Galbraith, PhD
National Wildlife Federation

 

 

A WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was seen in the Connecticut River in Westmoreland

on October 13th.

---RBA, New Hampshire

 

 

West Brattleboro Birds

Pileated Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Raven (flyover)

Chipping Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow (8)

Dark-eyed Junco

Purple Finch (2)

 

 

 

New England Fall Raptors (10/15)

Fall season RAPTOR migration continues with migrating raptors being counted

daily at hawk-watching sites. To date, the Pack Monadnock Raptor Migration

Observatory in Peterborough has counted over 12,750 raptors, the Carter Hill

Observatory in Concord has counted over 6,000 raptors, and hawk-watchers on

Little Round Top in Bristol have seen over 2,700 raptors. Of particular note

was a GOLDEN EAGLE seen from Pack Monadnock on October 8th. Be sure to visit

these viewing sites this fall season to help out with the counts! Pack

Monadnock and Carter Hill will be staffed by NH Audubon through the end of

October. Although peak flights of BROAD-WINGED HAWKS have mainly passed,

there are still many more raptors to be counted.

---RBA, New Hampshire

 

 

PUTNEY MOUNTAIN  HAWKWATCH,  Oct. 7-15, 2014

 

Top of Form

Date

 

BV

TV

OS

BE

NH

SS

CH

NG

RS

BW

RT

RL

GE

AK

ML

PG

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

2014-10-07

5

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2014-10-08

8

 

11

2

 

 

24

1

 

 

 

1

 

 

5

1

2

 

 

 

 

 

47

2014-10-09

8

 

7

 

2

 

111

11

1

 

 

6

 

 

16

1

4

 

 

 

 

 

159

2014-10-10

7.75

 

15

1

1

2

101

9

1

4

 

20

 

1

10

1

9

 

 

 

 

 

175

2014-10-11

9

 

91

1

2

3

38

4

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

142

2014-10-12

9

 

54

 

1

3

56

5

 

 

 

19

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

141

2014-10-13

7.75

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

2014-10-14

8.5

 

11

 

1

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

2014-10-15

3

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

---John Anderson

 

 

 

PLEASE share your birding news and photos with us so we

 can all enjoy reading about your birding experiences.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Al Merritt  chpmnkx@sover.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society:   www.sevtaudubon.org