Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, August 28, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ August 28, 2009

Bird Notes


Common Nighthawk Migration

I hope you've been witnessing the Common Nighthawk migration.  Last night (8/24) a tight flock of 62 Nighthawks were observed from the north end of Route 63/Stuart & John's Sugar House parking lot (Westmoreland, NH) flying with great speed south over the CT River in front of a shower band.  And close to 30 Nighthawks were flying back and forth over Green Wagon Farm/Stone Arch Village parking lot at the north end of Court Street (Keene, NH).


It's like the pre-season to fall hawk migration but in many ways much more rewarding:

1)  They are easy to identify.  Their flight pattern and general impressions are easier to remember.

2)  They fly relatively low.  Many times they fly just above buildings and trees.

3)  They fly mostly south but sometimes they fly north too in the same evening (just in case you missed them the first time).

4)  They can be easier to count than hawks because they seem to leave lots of space between each other.

5)  They seem to concentrate their migration through inland river valleys.

6)  Entering your observations is REALLY easy on

7)  Your observations help to understand the INCREDIBLE Common Nighthawk migration.  They fly south and over the Gulf of Mexico!

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH



West Brattleboro Birds

An immature Broad-winged Hawk sat on a low branch overlooking our driveway and was undisturbed by our vehicle’s presence as we drove by. We think it is the same one that appeared in the pine tree two days later watching the birds fly in and out of our feeder. We thought it strange that the Chickadees and Titmice paid little attention to this comparatively huge predator not 10 feet away. It finally appeared to be bored with the situation and flew off into the wooded area on the west side of our property.


For the most part, the flocks of swallows we observed gathering on the wires along Abbott Road have dwindled down to only a handful. Today (8/25) there were only 3 Barn Swallows and 1 Cliff Swallow to be found. Bobolinks appear to be gone too, the field at the Gateway Farm was alive with them just a couple of weeks ago.


The many species coming in to the feeders has also slackened off. Although Chickadee numbers are increasing as families of them are showing up. The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have introduced their two youngsters to our sipping syrup stations and the Goldfinches arrived in good numbers today bringing with them their wing-fluttering offspring. We heard a Catbird mewing in the shrubbery and saw a female Common Yellowthroat skulking along the low evergreen bows.



The Retreat Meadows

A Great Egret is still hanging out around the sandbars and islands bordering the meadows. Today we counted 3 Great Blue Herons there and several Cedar Waxwings shagging flies high over the river. Many Canada Geese are still present, one pair had a lone gosling with them that was nearly as big as they were.


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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