Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, December 24, 2007

Bird Notes ~ 12.24.07

Bird Notes


We went on the hunt yesterday (12/21) and had great luck.  We saw about 15 CEDAR WAXWINGS on Barrows Road off Ames Hill Road in Marlboro.  Then we drove to Bonnyvale Road and went as far as the Environmental Center (BEEC) and found a flock of 9 or 10 PINE GROSBEAKS eating seeds from the trees behind the main building. While enjoying them, we caught a glimpse of bright yellow and our luck continued as we counted half a dozen EVENING GROSBEAKS in the same area eating sumac seeds. Back home in Marlboro we have a huge flock of thirty plus REDPOLLS at the feeders along with the regular Chickadees, a single White-Breasted Nuthatch, a couple of Downy Woodpeckers and an American Tree Sparrow.   Has anyone seen Pine Siskins or Crossbills in the area? 

---Molly Martin & Michael King, Marlboro, VT



20 SNOW BUNTINGS have been perched on the top of our wooden swing set frame for the past hour or so, on and off.  They are currently all flocked together at the top of a very large Maple farther back in the yard. They did land briefly about 30 feet from my back door when I scattered some sunflower seed out on the snow, but just as I got my camera, they were spooked and returned to the tree. Yard first for me! We have also had 4-5 REDPOLLS, many AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, a HAIRY WOODPECKER, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK visiting regularly.

---Laurie Miner, West Brattleboro



Robyn and I birded the river off Stebbins Road today, Friday, December 21, for an hour or so. Our sightings:

Bald Eagle (probable 2nd year), WB Nuthatch (heard), Common Goldeneye 30, Hooded Merganser 5, Common Merganser 4, Pileated Woodpecker 1, Belted Kingfisher 1, Chickadees 5. 

---Paul Miksis & Robyn Flatley, Brattleboro



There was a pair of PILEATED WOODPECKERS working the edge of the woods behind our house this morning while a RED-TAILED HAWK perched watching the fields. A flock of ~20 COMMON REDPOLLS also paid us a brief visit.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro



Yesterday I went to Turners Falls just over the border in MA and took photos of an ICELAND GULL and a GLAUCOUS GULL, which I put on my website ( I also saw a flock of COMMON GOLDENEYES, a solitary COMMON LOON, large flock of MALLARDS and many MUTE SWANS, both adults and juveniles. It was worth the 20 mile trip from Brattleboro.

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro



The longest running active Christmas Bird Count in Vermont is Bennington which was started in 1911 by Lucretius H. Ross MD who compiled the count into the 1950s. 

---Don Clark, Grafton





Our Christmas Wish

Peace on Earth




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:






Monday, December 10, 2007

Bird Notes-12.10.07

Bird Notes

Saturday's highlite-3 PINE GROSBEAKS(2males and 1 female) eating crab apples behind the W. Brattleboro post office and 4 REDPOLLS at home in W. Bratt. A flock of 15 TREE SPARROWS has been hanging around our house for a few days. Sunday morning brought marauding flocks of ~35 CEDAR WAXWINGS to our bittersweet and 15-20 REDPOLLS to our feeder and birch tree. Around 2PM,40-50 REDPOLLS returned and enjoyed our feeders and birch tree, coming and going for an hour and a half. During this time I was able to observe one particularly light redpoll perched in the tree and also on the ground eating seed 15 feet from our picture window. After several observations and research I concluded that this bird was a HOARY REDPOLL based on the overall whiteness compared to all the others, extremely limited streaking high up on the flanks (a couple of thin, short wisps), and the lack of streaking on the undertail coverts. I did manage to take a few pictures with a digital camera, unfortunately without my scope. Only one photo was halfway decent. ---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT


Today a small flock of EVENING GROSBEAKS were at the feeder-I counted ten.  I haven't seen any for a month or more, so it was a real surprise. ---Burt Tepfer, Putney


On Lyman pond here in Waltham, Mass a male & female hooded merganser.  At my Duncraft mini classic window feeder, I had 5 CHICKADEES, 5 or so TITMICE, one female DOWNY WOODPECKER, a CARDINAL pair and several WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS. All supervised by two RED-TAILED HAWKS on a nearby defunct factory chimney.      ---Doreen Pugh

We had a flock of about 20 REDPOLLS at our feeder two days in a row.  ---Sally Warren, Grafton, VT

An allegedly routine trip to the Brattleboro Food Co-Op today yielded some amazing looks at a COOPER’S HAWK.  It was hanging out in a tree over the river(Whetstone Brook) by the co-op parking lot.  Best extended look I'd ever had at a Coopers (my usual look is from Putney Mountain as they go whizzing by). ---Julie Waters

We have also had a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER and REDPOLLS by our feeder.  I've seen and heard more BARRED OWLS recently than usual.  The Christmas Bird Count may be a particularly interesting year.

---Susan James, Guilford


A Rising Number of Birds at Risk


New York Times--Dec.1--Relentless sprawl, invasive species and global warming are threatening an increasing number of bird species in the United States, pushing a quarter of them — including dozens in New York and New Jersey — toward extinction, according to a new study by the National Audubon Society and the American Bird Conservancy.

The study, called WatchList 2007, categorized 178 species in the United States as being threatened, an increase of about 10 percent from 2002, when Audubon’s last study was conducted. Of the 178 species on the list, about 45 spend at least part of the year in this region.

Among the most threatened is the rare Bicknell’s thrush, a native of the Catskill and Adirondack highlands whose winter habitat in the Caribbean is disappearing. Although less at risk, the wood thrush — whose distinctive song was once emblematic of the Northeast’s rugged woodlands — is on the list because a combination of acid rain and sprawl has damaged its habitat and caused its numbers to decline precipitously over the last four decades.

Read more:


Here at Chipmunk Crossing we have been getting good looks at the COMMON REDPOLLS as they vie for a perch on the feeders that the Chickadees think they own. A pair of CAROLINA WRENS came in for suet and seed on Saturday morning and a single bird has returned each day since. But, I have saved the best of all for last. That afternoon about 3:30 a BARRED OWL flew in and landed on the roof of the post feeder. It is a feeding station about 15 feet from the house that we allow the squirrels to get into. The owl sat facing our window and remained there looking in all directions, but was never phased by our movements in the house. It remained in that position until we could no longer see it when darkness fell. I didn’t get a picture because my camera has an automatic flash that would have not only scared it but would have reflected off the window back into the lens. AAARGH! It was the best look we have ever had of a Barred Owl in the wild.

Don’t forget the Christmas Bird Count is next Saturday. If you are birding in the field with a group, it is time to scout out your area in hopes of finding some good birds that might just hang around until the 15th. Keep in mind that if they are spotted on the 12th, 13th, 14th, or 16th, 17th, 18th, they can be recorded as being seen during “Count Week”.




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:





BIRD NOTES December 7, 2007 ~~ Pearl Harbor Day

Bird Notes



A flock of 20+ PINE GROSBEAKS were gorging themselves on the fruit of a lone crabapple tree behind the West Brattleboro Post Office on (12/5/07.

---Hollie Bowen



The female Red belly was at the feeder- she prefers the millet/mixed treats rather than the black oil sunflowers. While she was there I saw, on the big bush in the yard behind the feeder, a small flock of CEDAR WAXWINGS- maybe twenty or twenty five, enjoying some of the berries there.

---Burt Tepfer, Putney, VT



PINE GROSBEAKS were also in West Dover on the Handle Road at noon, Tuesday Dec.4th --six flew up from the road.  Very pretty!!

I also have a nice little flock of GOLDFINCHES and a small flock of a dozen or so REDPOLLS at my feeders.  There is still a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW feeding here as well. The rest of the gang are the usual winter hangouts, Chickadee, Red-breasted and White-breasted Nuthatch, Blue Jay, Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers. Last week a SHARPIE hung around, a BARRED OWL was on the ground under the feeders in the daytime and on Sat the owl was seen on the wires at the end of our road on Route 9. They do nest in our woods.


We are pleased to have had a beaver move into our lower field along Rt.9 and start a dam creating a little pool in our wetland area.  Hope

they stay, though they did take the pretty white birch! 

----Barbara Cole, Wilmington, VT



I too had Pine Grosbeaks near our feeders off Black Mountain Road in Brattleboro.

---Phyllis Benay, Brattleboro, VT



On Monday, 12/3, I saw perhaps one hundred HORNED LARKS by the intersection of Pond Rd. and 142, but they wouldn't stay put for me to see if there was an interloper (Lapland Longspur). I also spotted a BARRED OWL on a line over the road nearby. Today, 12/5, I re-traced my route and spotted numerous juncos, BLUEBIRDS, several hundred flighty larks, and another Barred, this one on Stebbins Rd., perching and hunting. Got great looks. The BALD EAGLE was perched by its nest. A few Hoodies, Black Ducks and Common Mergansers were in the River. 

---Paul Miksis, Brattleboro, VT



At Chipmunk Crossing our regulars have been joined by a Cardinal pair, an additional pair of titmice and for the last few days a CAROLINA WREN has been showing up in the feeder and on the suet. This morning (12/6) we heard a PILEATED WOODPECKER whacking a tree near Ames Brook off Greenleaf Street.


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.


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


Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT


BIRD NOTE archives:


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society website: