At Chipmunk Crossing
Spring at last? Small patches of our yard are starting to appear through the snow revealing the multitude of leaves that were covered by the early snowfalls last year. The Red Maple is starting to live up to its name by showing the first red florets. Willows are turning yellow. Birches are tight budded waiting for some warm sun. Tufted Titmice are declaring their territories with “Peter, Peter, Peter!” Cardinals with “Cheer, Cheer, Cheer” Chickadees with “Fee Bee, Fee Bay” and Song Sparrows with “Hip, Hip, Hooray Boys, Spring is Here!”
Watch for these Migrants
Eastern Phoebe, Tree Swallow, American Woodcock, Common Snipe, Broad-winged Hawk, Merlin, Osprey, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Winter Wren, Water Pipit, Fox Sparrow, Field Sparrow and Savannah Sparrow.
Gulls at the Cove
A lone BONAPARTE’S GULL was in with a bunch of ring-bills at Herricks Cove this afternoon(4/2). Seems early.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT
Heard, & saw, EASTERN PHOEBE in Williamsville/South Newfane today(4/2).
---Chris Petrak, South Newfane, VT
Woodcock, Waxwings & Bluebirds
The large flock of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was still making an appearance in the orchard of the Kluge Farm on Bonnyvale Road in West Brattleboro. Meg also reports that the first WOODCOCK has made its presence known. There were a couple of dozen CEDAR WAXWINGS consuming the fruit on the ground beneath the apple tree at the Common in West B. A pair of BLUEBIRDS has been hanging out in the fields near the Chelsea Royal Diner.
Barnacle Goose at Northfield, MA
The BARNACLE GOOSE that was reported on the listserv by Mark Taylor of Northfield, flew in to Bennett Meadow at about 3:00pm today(3/27), joining hundreds, if not thousands, of Canadas and a few SNOW GEESE. There are also many WOOD DUCKS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, PINTAILS, MALLARDS, and BLACK DUCKS in the marsh on the west side of the field. Also saw a GREAT BLUE HERON, several EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, and SONG SPARROWS. A nice day at Bennett Meadow. I heard a FIELD SPARROW on my walk up Meadowbrook Road in W. Bratt late this afternoon.
---Nori Howe, W. Brattleboro
Merlin and Horned Larks
We had great looks at a female MERLIN as it sat sunning itself in a tree along Pond Road in Vernon. A little farther south on Caldwell Road in West Northfield, MA we found a recently manured field virtually crawling with HORNED LARKS.
In the muddy puddles in and around the cornfield along Marina Road there are MALLARDS galore with ever changing numbers of Canada Geese. Several WOOD DUCKS can be viewed from the deck at the “Grill on the Hill” by looking down into the wet area at the base of the hill. Four male COMMON MERGANSERS were steaming up the West River and at the Water treatment plant we found a female KESTREL sitting atop the tall pole near the gate and 6 GREEN-WINGED TEAL and a couple of BLACK DUCKS feeding in the flooded section of the lawn inside the gate. There is always a MOCKINGBIRD or two guarding the bittersweet vines on the chain-link fencing. SONG SPARROWS could be seen foraging along the sawdust road paralleling the right side of the fence. ROBINS were everywhere in the newly exposed grass in the fields on each side of the entrance drive. REDWING BLACKBIRDS were singing their “Oakaleeee” from the surrounding treetops along with a few squawking COMMON GRACKLES.
Missing for 80 Years
Experts say a BECK’S PETREL has been rediscovered near Papua, New Guinea. The species was last seen 80 years ago and thought to be extinct.
Beck’s Petrel (AP Photo/Hadoram Shirhai, RSPB)
Keep Feeding Stations Clean
If a bird should die by your feeder, it doesn’t necessarily mean it got infected there. However, to be safe, if you do find a dead bird, take the feeder down and submerge/wash it in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water. Then leave the feeder down for a week or two before putting it up again.
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.
W. Brattleboro, VT