Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, December 26, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ December 26, 2008


Bird Notes


Bald Eagle at Retreat Complex

My daughter tells me that there was a mature bald eagle perched on the Retreat's cupola one day last week & it caused quite a stir!!  Folks there are seeing them regularly & are excited about them!

---Hollie Bowen, Brattleboro, VT



On a hike -- or I should say, a hearty snowshoe breaking trail -- on Wantastiquet Mt. yesterday (12/22) -- we had a red-tail circling and calling and then a very noisy pileated woodpecker flying by squawking. Two days before I had seen tracks of raccoon, fox, snowshoe hare, deer, and field mice, but nothing at all yesterday.

---Mark Mikolas, Brattleboro, VT


The birds have been taking advantage of the feeders both just before and after the recent storms. The siskins seem to be always here in 1s, 2s, or 3s but we had about 10 this morning. A male and female purple finch showed up for just a day. The pair of Carolina wrens are daily visitors plus all of the usual  feeder birds except mourning doves. None so far this winter. While I was shoveling on Monday morning I heard some tseeps that sounded familiar and looked up to see +/- 60 cedar waxwings in the crown of a large maple. Canada geese were still here right up until the storm. They would rest just out of the current on the downstream shores of islands in the Connecticut River. Now large rafts of ice are floating by and the geese have no refuge. There are still a few mallards at the mouth of Whetstone Brook behind the Riverview Café and a red-tailed hawk was cruising over the river.


Ruffed grouse seemed to be everywhere in the national forest in Somerset after the ice storm.  I flushed 9 during one day in the woods. Tracks in the snow showed that they had been strutting and covering a lot of ground looking for food. Deer were apparently browsing on twig tips, ice and all. Ravens were about, as well.

---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro, VT


Our finches and siskins have disappeared again.  However, we had an exciting visitor on snowy Sunday. A Barred Owl spent about 20 minutes hunting at our feeders. First he tried to sit in the small bush next to the feeders and then he walked around under the bush. He moved a short distance away to a tree and looked for the squirrel, which was nowhere to be seen. Our 9 turkeys visited the feeders today (12/22).  They are not bothered by our movement in the house.
---Susan James, Guilford, VT


100 cedar waxwings in the crowns of large oak and maple in the yard. Usual group at the feeders plus a good look at an adult male Cooper's hawk that snagged a junco for his Christmas dinner. He alighted at the base of a large spruce where the branches entered the snowpack with the victim in his talons then flew around behind the tree at the next blast of wind. Also, on Cedar Street near the ski jump, a very light-colored juvenile red-tail flew up and landed on a limb as we drove under. The belly band was virtually absent. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop at the time. Today there was a single male house finch at one of our feeders.


More siskins today (12/26) than usual, at least 15 in the group in the feeders with a lone goldfinch. There is one that comes daily that has a very thin spine of some sort protruding straight forward from its bill. I can't determine whether the spine is lodged inside the bill or between the skin and bill on the exterior. It seems to feed ok but occasionally sweeps its bill sharply to the side in an apparent effort to rid itself of the annoyance. Wish I could just stick my hand through the window pane and pull it out. I was also thinking today of the 'old days' when we had many evening grosbeaks daily devouring the sunflower seeds and pine grosbeaks in the spruce and even a boreal chickadee. Does anyone in town remember when the varied thrush spent several days at the feeder? I remember my mother serving coffee and snacks in the kitchen to people who came from miles around to see him. And that was in the 60's...pre-internet!

---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro



Six Evening Grosbeaks, 3 M & 3 F, found the black oil sunflower feeder in the yard of Burt Tepfer in Putney last Tuesday(12/23).


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


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





Monday, December 22, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ December 22, 2008


Bird Notes



The goldfinches are finally back, and they brought the siskins with them.  they are full of energy and there's lot of pushing and shoving around the feeders.  A big flock of cedar waxwings flying from tree to tree.  We've been seeing turkeys by the feeders this week.
---Susan James, Guilford, VT



Lots of bird activity in the yard over the past few days.  I have seen flocks of goldfinches (keep searching for pine siskins mixed in), a flock of evening grosbeaks, a cardinal, many chickadees, a hairy, a downy, juncos, tufted titmice and white-breasted nuthatches.  The lack of power is not affecting my 3½ year old or the birds.

---Mitch Harrison, Wardsboro



Birding this morning (3/15) produced 1 Cooper's Hawk at the edge of Kluge's horse pasture in W. Brattleboro- Bonnyvale Rd., 1 Sharpie in Hillwinds off of Upper Dummerston Rd. along with 1 Barred Owl and 1 Hermit Thrush(2nd day in a row) in the swampy area behind Hillwinds, and 1 Northern Shrike behind the Marina Restaurant in Bratt. Flocks of Cedar Waxwings seem to be everywhere!

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro



Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count

Despite Mother Nature’s ice sculpturing of southern Vermont, we had great success with the annual Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count. Twenty-seven of the forty volunteers were able to make it into the field and did an exemplary job of covering their assigned areas. The remaining thirteen were unable to make it out of their driveways because of downed trees, and wires, we hope by now that things are back to normal for you. Thanks too to the feeder counters, you are an integral part of our team. And last but not least, a special thanks to Hollie and Paul for again hosting the count down pot luck supper in their lovely home on Whipple Street.


We had the second highest species count ever, with a total of 62 which included 4 “count week” birds. The number of individuals counted totaled 5,818. Total miles walked was five. Total driven was 325. Hours spent in the field was 170.


Here are the highlights:


Common Goldeneye 1

Wild Turkey 37

Bald Eagle 3 mature & 2 imm.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1

Northern Flicker 2

Pileated Woodpecker 2

Horned Lark 150

Brown Creeper 3

Carolina Wren 1

Eastern Bluebird 40

Hermit Thrush 1

American Robin 49

Cedar Waxwing 1073

Savannah Sparrow 1

Snow Bunting 2

Pine Grosbeak 1

Red Crossbill 1

Common Redpoll 6

Pine Siskin 240

Evening Grosbeak 9


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


A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

and touches your heart.

Happy Holidays




Friday, December 12, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ December 12, 2008

Bird Notes




With all the red-bellied woodpecker reports, we may as well 'fess up that we see one everyday at our feeder as well.  Today we had all three: the Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied. 

---Mary Miller, Vernon, VT



I have another daily visitor to my feeder (in addition to the Red-bellied WP)- a female Pileated Woodpecker.(See attachment.)

---Pat Shields, Putney, VT



Finally got the nerve to put the feeders back up and it's been slow going to attract the birds back to their feeding stations.  I'm hoping the "resident" bear is finally hibernating.  The Chickadees are here in numbers that range somewhere between 12&15; a flock of Goldfinches flew over the property and about 7 decided to hang out and sample the fare.  A small flock of Cedar Waxwings (9-12) took temporary refuge in a grove of hemlocks on 12/8.  A single Titmouse, a White-breasted Nuthatch, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a Downy Woodpecker complement the chickadees at the feeders.  Waiting for the Siskins to find their way up Route 9 and visit the diner here in Marlboro.  

---Molly Martin, Marlboro, VT    



Despite the freezing rain, the Pine Siskins finally arrived at our feeders here at Chipmunk Crossing this morning. Icicles weren’t a deterrent as they wiggled under and between them to get to the mixed seed that I had laced with their favorite thistle seed. There were 20 of them with a few Golfinches mixed in.



Winning photos in the 2008 Great Backyard Bird Count are now viewable at:




A Holiday Treat from Barbara’s Kitchen


Travis House Cookies


1 egg white stiffly beaten.


1 cup light brown sugar, beat until well mixed.

Stir in:

1 level TBL flour & pinch of salt.


1 cup chopped pecans.


Drop by small spoonfuls on buttered cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.



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



A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

and touches your heart.






Tuesday, December 09, 2008

BIRD NOTES ~ December 9, 2008


Bird Notes



From Moose Bog to the Marina

From the NE Kingdom,12/6, one N. Shrike perched on top of a spruce tree along RT 114 north of East Haven, 12 Evening Grosbeaks in a conifer just west of the entrance to Moose Bog on RT. 105, 2 Gray Jays found me in Moose Bog, 1 Winter Wren near the parking area at Moose Bog, 1 Pileated WP seen from Moose Bog trail, and I heard the wings of grouse taking off a few times as I walked Moose Bog trail, but only got one glimpse of a dark bird as it disappeared into the conifers.


Today, birding the field and swampy areas behind the Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro......a large flock of sparrows which included ~35 tree Sparrow, 6 White Throated Sp, 1 Savannah Sp, several Song Sp, and to my surprise 1 Field Sp.


While I was observing the sparrows a flock of 9 Pine Siskins landed in the grasses with the sparrows, picked around a bit, and flew off. There was also a flock of ~15 Cedar Waxwings and 3 Bluebirds perched in a tree along the road as I left. Last Sunday there was 1 Carolina Wren present, but no luck today.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT



Early this morning (12/5) there were 20 - 30 Pine Siskins feeding on the ground under my feeder.  They far exceeded the number of Goldfinches! Also this morning, an Eastern Towhee passed through the backyard.  Isn't it a bit late?  Do you usually get them on the Christmas Count?

*(This is an unusually late date for a Towhee)

---Nori Howe, W. Brattleboro, VT



I have a female Red-Bellied Woodpecker that infrequently visits my feeder. She seems to be quite wary.
---Steve Medved, Putney, Vermont



I had a red-belly pecking at the base of the tree that holds the feeder today (11/30)- sounds like they are around, but why now?

*(Natural feeding habits are probably being affected by the cold weather and bringing them in to feeders)

---Burt Tepfer, Putney, VT



I've had a female Red-bellied Woodpecker at my feeder the past two days(11/30)- hasn't stayed long enough for a photo, but now I have my camera ready.  I've never seen one in my 3 years in Putney.

---Pat Shields, Putney, VT



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



A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

and touches your heart.