Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

FW: [BIRD NOTES] July 25, 2007


Bird Notes




At Allen Brothers Marsh in Westminster I got a great look at a pair of Virginia Rails today. The rails were actually scurrying across the road from one side of the marsh to the other. 

---Mitch Harrison



At Allen Brothers marsh, Green Heron(6), Great Blue Heron(2), SORA (2) one heard calling five times from northeast corner and a JUVENILE (dull buffy breast, short pointed brownish-yellow bill) was observed from about three meters from the road and flew 15 meters north of roadside.

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH



There was a LITTLE BLUE HERON at Hogle Wildlife Sanctuary in Brattleboro, as of about 9:30 AM.(7/20) The sanctuary is off Eaton Street (off Putney Rd) - look for the marker at the bend in the road before Eaton turns into Vermont St.  Take the footpath to the boardwalk and bear left at the end of the boardwalk. Thirty yards further brings you to an opening in the tangles along the shoreline and you can look out over the water. The Retreat will be on your left. The bird was wading in weeds about halfway across the retreat meadows when looking at the fishing access. I expect the bird would also have been visible from the fishing access as well.

---Terry Wright



Robyn and I had a great evening(7/20) near sunset on the West River, Marina side. We counted 54 TV's. Our highlights were the Great Blue & Little Blue Herons, especially the Little Blue (a new bird for us), on the sandbar.

------Paul Miksis & Robyn Flatley, Brattleboro, VT



An E-Mail from Lani in Peru

I just thought I’d check in.  So far I have seen and identified 149 species of birds. I have had two particularly stand out days of birding.  One was in the Iquitos area where I was doing an Amazon River trip and staying at a jungle lodge.  We had been issued rubber boots to the knee and instructed not to go off the trails and don’t touch anything.  Well I ran in to Arles, a young boy from the nearby village--which interestingly enough has a school in it built by the students and faculty of Woodstock Union High School, Vt.-- and asked him to show me a bird.  Arles got very excited.  He would cup his hand to his ear, hear a bird and take off into the undergrowth at a run smashing through verdura, pulling aside vines, slopping through mud, slithering around thorny palms until we were standing in front of the bird which always seemed to be spot lit in a shaft of sunlight. I by this time would be surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes so while I was looking at the bird and the pictures in my book--Arles would be patiently wiping the mosquitoes off of me.  I came back with about a hundred bites. Even though Arles had no orientation to a bird book he could find the bird in it in about two seconds.  Anyway--we spent a great morning in this insane manner.  So much for-- stay on the trail and don’t touch anything. 

     The other great day I was birding in the river basin below Macchu Picchu near the new museum.  There were some scarlet flowered trees around there that were a magnet to the tropical tanagers.  They were the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Gorgeous oranges and blues and goldens the only thing I can relate their patterns to are tropical fish.  Five or six kinds all in one tree and very pretty with their little beaks full of prange flowers.  Then the guardian who kept borrowing my binocs to watch the tourists in the ruins above us--heard a cock of the rock and dragged me off to find not one but two males. Spectacular!!  Bright orange with silver feathered shingles down his back.  The males congregate together on the same tree branch and when a female comes near they jump on each other and try to knock each other off leaving the winner to be --cock of the rock--Sorry this typewriter has all crazy punctuation when I hit the normal keys--Anyway, as you know there’s nothing more fun then birding and Peru has such an amazing variety of ecosystems to bird in there is truly never a dull moment.  Thanks for the Bird Notes. I am enjoying them from afar.  Best, Lani Wright




Symphony at Dawn


Slowly waking to cacophony,

The pre-concert

Tuning of a symphony.

Then silent pause, pre-syncopation,

To build what's now

Our anticipation.


Sir Cardinal takes the opening bar.

Calling his wife,

Who responds from afar.

Repeating notes like a fine-tuned string,

He corresponds

To a fine violin.


Robin's come, she's trilling Ola,

Adding much,

With her viola.

Mourning doves are more like cellos,

A supporting cast

Of charming fellows.


Blue Jays' more a musical riddle,

Do they play brass,

Or more brass fiddle?

The shiny section starts en masse,

As Grackles screech

Like a hinge of brass.


Starlings add discordant notes,

As a little flock

Above us floats.

Hermit Thrush acts the hobo,

With perfect pitch,

On his solo oboe.


It's often nice to add a singer,

And Wood Thrush alto,

Is a real humdinger.

Nothing like a finale drummer,

And "Woody" throbs

Like a frenzied plumber.





A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.


Please keep us abreast of what birds you are seeing, whether at home or on a trip in or out of the Windham County area.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



BIRD NOTE archives:


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society website:







Thursday, July 19, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] July 19, 2007




Bird Notes


Vernon Eagles are Flying High

Chris Martin sent in the following account:

The female Bald Eagle at the site below the dam in Vernon, is a hatch year 1993 eagle raised at the Oxbow territory on the Connecticut River in Northampton, MA.  Now a 14-year old, she has been present on territory near the Vernon Dam since at least 1999, when we first confirmed her ID, and has been re-identified on several occasions since.  Earlier this season, I also re-confirmed the ID of her mate, a 14-year old male raised at Barkhamsted Reservoir in Connecticut.  The pair has now been together at this location for at least 9 years.

     The single eagle chick produced at this site in 2007 is now flying well and was seen pursuing food carried by the adult eagles on 7/16/2007.

---Chris Martin, Senior Biologist,

Conservation Dept. NH Audubon



Seen at Bentley College pond, one lone great blue heron, has been there for months, also a green heron, and way too many Canada geese. Our sidewalks are covered with green poop and the pond stinks.

 ---Doreen Pugh, Waltham, MA



Three different sightings engaged me last weekend in Marlboro.  On Sunday morning (7/8) I found an Ovenbird "hawked" and dropped beside the porch steps of the house at South Pond.  That afternoon we had a very close view of a male Scarlet Tanager hopping around the outer branches of a maple in the same spot.  Later, walking along Cowpath 40, we saw a Broad-winged Hawk with prey in its beak fly low across the road.

---Anne Wheelock, Brattleboro, VT



On a walk for last minute confirmations for the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, Susan James reported seeing 3 Barred Owls with one recently fledged but not totally independent youngster - great looks at him/her.  “One of the other 2 owls may have also been immature, but I couldn't get a good look.” 

     Also, a Pileated Woodpecker flew right in front of my car.  It looked like a juvenile. It matched the National Geographic guide description of a juvenile: "resembles adult but duller and browner overall." 

---Susan James, Guilford, VT 


Glossy Ibis Heads List

Martha Adams found a juvenile Glossy Ibis at Allen Bros. marsh last night(7/17). It was there again today along with Green & Great Blue Herons, 2 Black-billed Cuckoos, Canada Geese & Wood Ducks with young.

     A mini fallout on the Herrick's mudflats with 300+ Least Sandpipers, 22 Short-billed Dowitchers, 30+ G Yellowlegs, a Snipe, 8 Killdeer, a Common Tern, 10 Great Blue Heron,a Green Heron, an ad. Bald Eagle, 3 Ring-Billed Gulls, a Herring Gull & lots of Bank & Tree Swallows.

---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


***While at Allen Brothers Marsh viewing the Glossy Ibis, Marsha Adams returned to report that she lost her small copy of Sibley’s Guide that she mistakenly placed on the back bumper of her car. Anyone with information regarding the finding of the book please send her an e-mail at

Thank You.—Al Merritt



A friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.


Please keep us abreast of what birds you are seeing, whether at home or on a trip in or out of the Windham County area.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



BIRD NOTE archives:


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society website:








Tuesday, July 10, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] July 9, 2007



Bird Notes



Least Bittern in Southern Vermont

I have been having some success in southern VT and NH finding least bitterns this year. Right now seems to be a good time for surveying these birds - they breed late and their young are probably just hatched. So far I have found at least 5 individuals in the cattail marshes that fringe the Connecticut in southern VT and NH.

---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT



Our Lucky Day(7/7/07) at the Hinsdale Setback

After receiving the heads-up from Hector and knowing that seeing a Least Bittern in the Connecticut River Valley was a rare treat, we planned to be there early the next day. We arrived at the causeway at about 8:45 in the morning and met a gentleman coming out who told us of having a Least Bittern earlier that was sitting in the cattails on the left as you enter the causeway, but it flew out of sight before he could get his camera operable. We said that we would stop there for a look on the way back if we were not successful and we continued on toward the large cattail marsh on the left. Not 100 feet farther along we spotted the Least Bittern without the aid of binoculars, sitting in plain view on a bent cattail stalk at the edge of the marsh. We called to the person whom we had met just seconds before and he hurried to our side. Looking down the barrel of the scope I focused on the bird. At 20X it was a magnificent "look" as it sat there in the sun preening its feathers. It was a male in handsome plumage. The camera person took several photos. We could only hope that they looked this good. We watched for more than 15 minutes hoping that we could show it to more birders that may come looking for the bird. It finally dropped down into the tangle of reeds and disappeared from view.



Least Bittern © Richard Elroy, 2002



Forgot to mention in my last posting - there was a female red-breasted merganser at the Brattleboro Retreat Meadows this morning(7/07).

---Hector Galbraith


A Note from Colorado

The hummingbirds are still with us.  We had about 40 Broad-tailed at the feeders this morning.  When I first went out at 5 a.m. there weren't any around so I thought most of them had left.  I filled and hung 3 feeders and as more and more arrived I had to hang 2 more.  They are cute little devils.  Haven't seen a Rufous yet but they should be migrating through here at any time.

---Sandy Merritt, Red Feather Lakes, CO



Feeding Broad-tailed Hummingbirds



Please keep us abreast of what birds you are seeing, whether at home or on a trip in or out of the Windham County area.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



BIRD NOTE archives:


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society website:






Sunday, July 01, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] July 1, 2007

Bird Notes


Here are a couple of nice bird stories.

Last week a Red-tailed Hawk flew low over the yard and was immediately harassed by 2 crows which furiously dive bombed it.  The hawk and crows started circling higher and higher.  Right below them flew a crow being aggressively harassed by two small birds - probably our resident Baltimore Orioles.  Calmly circling on the thermals above all of this drama was a Turkey Vulture minding his own business.  Yesterday I watched a Barred Owl for a long time roosting in a tree near a road I was walking down.  Today I was walking on a Guilford trail and flushed another barred owl who flew to a nearby tree, settled down and went back to sleep.

---Susan James, Guilford



Yesterday (6/14) when atlassing for breeding birds in a "clean-up" block, I enjoyed a long serenade by a Tennessee Warbler. This morning atop Mt. Snow, Bicknell's Thrush was again in full voice, along with Blackpoll, Yellow-rump, Magnolia Warblers, Purple Finch, et al. Highlight was White-winged Crossbills atop the spruces. Red-breasted Nuthatches, juncos, robins, chippers were among the birds carrying food, and many others were singing in full voice.

---Chris Petrak, S. Newfane, VT




We're having great views of a Gray Fox in the backyard in Marlboro!

---Hollie Bowen Love



I watched a very busy Black & White Warbler trying to satisfy the appetite of an immature Cowbird. She was one busy lady!

---Anabelle Bohlmann



While participating in the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, we were standing along Hinesburg Road looking out over a meadow when a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew over quite low. It was being harassed by a Redwing Blackbird that was dive bombing it and nearly landing on its back. A minute or two later a mature male Goshawk came by at an even lower altitude being pursued by 2 more Red-winged Blackbirds. A third Redwing was on its way up from its hedgerow vantage point to aid in the pursuit. They all disappeared from view behind a row of tall sugar maples.

  When birds feel that their territory has been violated and their nesting area threatened, they suddenly throw caution to the wind and instinctively become the aggressors regardless of the size of the invader.



Some of the more common butterflies are out and about. Watch for White Admirals, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Silver-spotted Skippers, and Eight-spotted Foresters. Then too, check over the Parsley in your garden for the caterpillars of the Tiger Swallowtails. We have two that are growing in size daily. Oh, and by the way check after dark for the Fireflies. Our hemlock trees are twinkling like they are decorated for the holidays.



Please keep us abreast of what birds you are seeing, whether at home or on a trip in or out of the Windham County area.


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT



BIRD NOTE archives:


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society website: