Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, October 23, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ October 23, 2009

Bluejay photo by Paul Miller


Bird Notes


Of Hawks and Jays

Yesterday while packing our corn pile, I enjoyed watching the Northern Harrier hunting just south of our barns. It was especially interesting when he was chasing a sandpiper. The hawk was unsuccessful.


The attached photo of an immature Blue Jay was taken in the parking lot at our Town Forest yesterday afternoon. The snake was still wiggling and the Jay was having a hard time swallowing the snake. The bird did not pay much attention to me as he was preoccupied with trying to eat the snake. He also seemed to have a crippled right leg so he could not perch. I do not think he has too long a future.

Thanks again for your column.

---Paul Miller, Vernon, VT



Migrating Thrush

I saw a Swainson's Thrush feeding on some wild berries by a community garden on the SIT campus, probably passing through on its migration further south. Here are some photos: crowned-sparrows.html  

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT


*Trivia Note: Years ago this thrush was known as the Olive-backed Thrush and we always used its eye ring as a “crutch” for identification. The eye ring would stand for the “O” in Olive-backed.



Shorebirds at the Marina Cornfield

This morning I observed a flock of about 20 (of what I thought were) Lesser Yellowlegs flying over the cornfield behind the Marina. One, probably a juvenile, settled down in a flooded part of the field close to me and allowed me to get a couple of nice photos. (See


Correction: I stopped by the cornfield again today and saw the same flock of shorebirds.

  These were definitely Killdeer and not Lesser Yellowlegs. I am not sure whether the Lesser Yellowlegs was part of a mixed flock or just an isolated bird stirred up by the commotion of the Killdeer and then settled down again near me.

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT




Kestrel in Vernon

Late Monday morning, I saw a Kestrel hunting over one of the corn fields on Pond Road in Vernon. Couldn't get a gender, but the bird gave me a great flash of that colorful tail.

---Ned Pokras, Brattleboro, VT




Local Bald Eagle

A Bald Eagle has been hanging out just north of the Hinsdale bridges near downtown Brattleboro. Several pictures made the front page of Tuesday’s Brattleboro Reformer as it sat on a tree stump and flew over the river from the Vermont side. Today (10/22) it was perched high in a dead tree on one of the small islands near the bridge. It must be good fishing in that neighborhood.




Canada Geese are Gathering

More and more Canada Geese are gathering each day at the Retreat Meadows. The numbers are well into the hundreds now. Keep a watchful eye out for the pint size Cackling Geese that occasionally make an appearance with them. They are miniature Canadas about the size of a Mallard Duck. Then too check them out for any numbered/lettered yellow collars and let me know of them. A team from Denmark is banding and collaring them in Greenland and are extremely interested in their migration habits.




Christmas Bird Count

This year the Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count will be held on Saturday, December 19. If you wish to be out in the field with one of the teams or sitting at home doing a feeder count, please contact me as soon as possible. I know you are thinking that this is a little early, but there is much work to be done in organizing the teams and supplying each with maps and instructions. So, please feel free to email me at or call me with your intentions at 254-4820. Thank you and Happy Birding.

---Al Merritt, West Brattleboro, 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




Post a Comment

<< Home