Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

[BIRD NOTES] August 28, 2007



Bird Notes



Fall migration has started in earnest, as we found out in our backyard after the “thunder boomers” passed through the area on Saturday evening. Sunday morning activity at the feeders and surrounding flora really picked up. Of those, were several species of warblers. Keep alert skyward too. Reports are circulating of good numbers of migrating Nighthawks.



Wilmington Thrashers

I received a report from Laurel Fox of at least 6 Brown Thrashers in Wilmington this morning (8/22) off RT 100 south - probably migrating – A field had just been mowed and they were going in and out of it. Some Blue Jays were giving them a hard time.  

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT



Herricks Cove Survey (8/24)

Today I conducted the monthly survey of the Herricks Cove IBA. It was very slow birding with only 35 species in two hours of covering the entire IBA. The highlight however came early in the survey when a Snowy Egret flew past the marsh. When i first spotted it, it was flying quite high above the marsh so I don't think it took off from Herricks Cove. As it flew by heading south it started flying lower but did not land. I checked for it along the CT river and at Allen Brothers Marsh but did not relocate it.

However, at Allen Brothers I did count 47 Wood Ducks, 8 Green Herons, and a Solitary Sandpiper that flew over.  Good birding.

---Taj Schottland, Putney, VT



SVAS Field Trip (8/25)

Saturday, on a muggy, overcast morning, leaders Meg Kluge and Ned Pokras met us at the Hannaford parking area to car pool for the field trip to the John and Phyllis Benay Wildlife Sanctuary off of Black Mountain Road. This is a private preserve with many acres of fields and marsh dotted with countless dead pine and hemlock trees that sit with there feet in the water. Most are riddled with woodpecker holes that provide housing for Tree Swallows, Northern Flickers, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. The Tree Swallows had already left the area for the gathering flocks that are preparing for migration, but the others were here. Cedar Waxwings were everywhere, high in the dead trees and low in the shrubs near the duckweed covered water, shagging insects like experienced flycatchers. Wood Peewees called from their high perches and a few empidonax flycatchers made an appearance but were very silent. Since they look so much alike, it is an almost impossible task to name them when they don’t talk. Common Yellowthroats hidden in the swamp grasses and tangle gave themselves away by calling their “witchedy, witchedy” song.

     While walking a woods trail the lead birders flushed an American Woodcock after nearly stepping on it. It startled all of us as it exploded into the air and flew up and away through the leafy canopy. I can see how the element of surprise saves these birds from the hunter’s guns.

     On the high trail that skirts the marsh on the east side, we encountered Purple Finch, Black-throated Green Warbler, Chestnut sided Warbler, American Redstart, Savannah Sparrow, and an immature ORCHARD ORIOLE.

     By now the sun was boring through the overcast and the humidity was rapidly rising. Our hostess, Phyllis Benay, invited us to the deck at her home for a snack and liquid refreshments, where we talked over the species and numbers seen. Nine of us counted 31 species:


American Woodcock

Mourning Dove

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

N. Flicker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

E. Wood Peewee

Empidonax Flycatcher-Species?

E. Phoebe

Blue Jay


Common Raven



White-breasted Nuthatch


Red-eyed Vireo

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

American Redstart

Common Yellowthroat


Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Chipping Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow



Purple Finch



***We apologize for the late notification of this field trip. There were more that would have liked to attend this outing but didn’t know about it until too late. We will be working to be sure that in the future, all will be notified far enough in advance.



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



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