Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

[BIRD NOTES] October 31, 2006

Bird Notes

Nature is sometimes very cruel and the following account is truly appalling. I know for a fact that burdock is not easy to dig up, but the next time you run across it break it off before it matures. The life you save may be that of your favorite avian creature.

Common Burdock a Kinglet Killer

While walking the usual 500 yard path at Milwaukee's North Point-Lake Park lakeshore in mid- October, during the peak of Kinglet migration, I found 2 Golden-crowns caught in burdock seed heads, still alive. One was easy to extricate, the other was so badly fastened that I had to very carefully, slowly manipulate and gently pull the heads off of the bird's face. Had I not had experience with handling and removing Kinglets from mist nets I might have killed this bird. The 3rd bird I found is pictured below. In retrospect, I realize that a small group of hikers with clippers could have cut the entire Burdock along this 500 yard path in about 15 minutes. This plant must kill thousands of Kinglets and other small birds each year. ---John Idzikowski


Today (10/27) along the Connecticut river between Springfield and Bellows Falls I had: 79 Black Scoters, 4 Surf Scoters (together in one flock), 1 Long-tailed Duck, 1 Common Loon, 2 Bufflehead, 7 Ring-necked Ducks, and 1 Hooded Merganser, along with other more common ducks for a total of 9 duck species. There was also a large flock of Scoters that flew over at Herrick's Cove. Don and I believe them to be White-winged Scoters, but I wasn't positive on the ID. I birded for part of the time with Don Clark, and I also met and birded with Denny Abbott (I hope i got your first name right!?) for part of the time. On a side note, I got some photos of the Long-tailed Duck, however I don't yet have a sight on the internet to post my digiscoping photos. Do people know of good websites that let you create a photo album with some text for free? If you have any suggestion respond to me off the list. Good birding.

---Taj Schottland, Putney

BEEC Beaks

While in the fields at the Brattleboro Environmental Education Center, Ned Pokras flushed two Woodcock and reported seeing several Bluebirds.

Hinsdale Setback

We stopped by to catch glimpse of any migrating waterfowl today (10/30). Instead we were entertained by a pair of mature Bald Eagles. Lying on the shore with its tail floating in the water was what appeared to be a humongous dead Carp. The eagles took turns and while one watched from a nearby tree the other proceeded to gorge itself on their newly found delicacy. A pair of Crows paced back and forth close by waiting like jackals for a chance to grab a tasty morsel. We backed the car out of their sight and turned around to head out so as not to disturb their repast.

While waiting to get out onto the main road, we observed two Myrtle Warblers foraging in the thick undergrowth. They appeared to be finding insects in a sunny sheltered spot.

Retreat Meadow

The winds at the Meadow had subsided to a breeze when we stopped by today. At first we only saw the usual large numbers of Canada Geese. But upon closer scrutiny with a scope, first one and then a second bird popped up in the water like a cork, female Common Mergansers. Off to the right of the island were two groups of birds. The smaller of the two was showing a lot of white. Looking down the barrel of a 20X gave us good looks at 4 Buffleheads, 3 of them were males with their flashy white head gear. We swung further right to the larger group and found them to be Ring-necked Ducks, 5 males and 4 females.

Along the path at the water treatment plant we came upon a Green Heron standing in a puddle and concentrating on a possible meal. Problems Continue

We have found out, in a round about way, that subscribers are not receiving BIRD NOTES due to technical difficulties at their home office in Bellows Falls. After contacting the Sover.Net support team they have promised that new changes are in the works that should solve the dilemma. Unfortunately I have no way of contacting the couple of dozen people that have been affected. So, if you should know of anyone that has been affected tell them that BIRD NOTES is available online at:

Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



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