Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, February 02, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] February 1, 2007




Bird Notes


Today(1/29) there was a tree full of Cedar Waxwings eating the apples on the tree at Hayes Court (in West Brattleboro). ---Mary Miller, Vernon, VT



I get the regular ten species in my yard and at the feeder, with an occasional red-breasted nuthatch.  The other day, though, three wild turkeys wandered around the front of the house (Orchard Street).  I put out corn hoping for their return, but picked up four crows instead. Lots of goldfinches.

   An addition for the morning of the 31st: a handsome Red-bellied Woodpecker at the suet.  I think that's a first in my yard. ---Jean Pett, W. Brattleboro, VT



Winter Grassland Raptors & Owls

Vic and I went over to the Fort Edward Grasslands just south of Fort Edward, NY yesterday(1/28).  The highlights were Northern Harriers (difficult to count but at least 8 - 10 and probably more) and Rough-legged Hawks (at least 6 - 8) seen hunting over a relatively small sized grassy field.  Most of the Northern Harriers I saw were either first year or females, but there were two adult males (gray ghosts).  What a beautiful bird!   The Rough-legged Hawks were mostly light morph, although a dark morph has been reported there.  It was a great opportunity to observe two very different hunting techniques! 

   At dusk, we moved from the hawk show to the owl show! Again it was difficult to count the number because there were so many and they were hunting, but there were at least 8 - 10 Short-eared Owls that just seemed to magically appear over another grassy field not far from where the hawks had been hunting.  We watched one catch something dark and furry and fly off with it! 

   I was really amazed at the concentration of bird activity in such a small area.  We did see many more Northern Harriers as we drove around, as well as a few Red-tails, and a Kestrel.  It was bitterly cold and snowing lightly (had been sunny when we left Brattleboro), but there was no hiking involved and all of the birding could easily be done from the warmth of the car.  It is about a two hour trip from Brattleboro, and I would be happy to supply directions if anybody is interested.  You can also check the postings for the Hudson-Mohawk area on the internet. 

   The Fox Sparrow was under the feeder again today (1/29).  ---Nori Howe, W. Brattleboro, VT


A Touch of Blue

Yesterday (Sunday 1/28) early afternoon a Bluebird flew across the road as I was driving down the Guilford Center Road near the Evans Farm.  About 15 minutes later I was heading home and a bluebird flew across the road in the opposite direction, so it may very well have been the same bird going back.  ---Carol Schnabel, Guilford, VT


A Barred Owl was singing in Guilford the night of 1/5 and the next night a Great Horned Owl sang.  On 1/12 we had about 50 Cowbirds show up under our feeders and we haven't seen them since then.  We had 25 Goldfinches on Saturday and haven't seen them again. ---Susan James, Guilford, VT


Birding on E. Long Island

Jan. 26-27:  Superb birding over the weekend at the eastern tip of Long Island.  If anyone ventures there this winter, don't miss checking Lake Montauk, along both East and West Roads, and the coast of Napeague Bay.

Some highlights:


    common loon (by the    score)

    red-throated loon

    horned grebe

    canvasback (a raft)

    greater scaup

    common eider

    long-tailed duck

    white-winged scoter

    surf scoter

    black scoter

    common goldeneye

    Barrow's goldeneye


    red-breasted merganser

    ruddy duck


    ruddy turnstone


    gannet (half a dozen or          more in flight)



And these are only the highlights!  It was quite a birding weekend.---Molly Martin & Michael King, Marlboro, VT 



Birding West B. to Vernon

There is an ornamental crabapple tree loaded with fruit across the street from the Jewish Synagogue on Greenleaf Street. Over the years it has been the most likely spot to find Cedar Waxwings and the more rare Bohemian Waxwing on occasion. Yesterday we counted 61 Cedar Waxwings gorging themselves on the fruit in the tree and on the ground.


As we passed Paul and Mary Miller’s house at Tyler Hill Rd. in Vernon we stopped to examine a Red-tailed Hawk that was sitting in a tree in their yard.  At Vernon Dam we counted 17 Common Mergansers and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. At a stop along Rt.142 where we had a good view of the eagle’s nest, we watched a 2nd year Bald Eagle standing in the nest and tearing into a tasty morsel.  On Pond Rd. we added another Red-tail perched in a tree along the road.

   A drive through the cornfield on Riverside Drive produced 68 Mourning Doves, a dozen or more Robins feeding on clusters of Sumac berries, and well over a hundred Mallards in a fly-over headed south over the river.  We stopped back at the eagle’s nest and found that the 2nd year eagle had left and a mature Bald Eagle was perched on a limb to the right and above the nest.  Our 3rd and last Red-tailed Hawk flew across the road in front of us near Puffer’s Setback on Vernon Road.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT






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