Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Friday, December 11, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ December 11, 2009

Bald Eagle with GW Teal at Brigantine © Mike DeBonis


Bird Notes


Hinsdale Owl

My uncle mentioned to me today that he saw a white owl with dark spots behind his house in Hinsdale. Perhaps there's a snowy owl in the area. ---Charlie La Rosa, Brattleboro, VT

*note: Anyone living in the vicinity of Oxbow Road, Hinsdale, NH, should be alert for this owl. Snowy or Barred Owl either one would be a good find.



Fooled by November’s Warmth

Two o’clock Friday afternoon.

Summit of Mt. Wantastiquet.

Wind chill 4 degrees F.

A flock of geese were struggling southward

going in and out of formation.

Better late than never.

---Mark Mikolas, Brattleboro, VT



Plum Island Ducks

The woods, streams and lakes are quiet, except for the Canada Geese on the Retreat Meadows. Suffering from acute birding withdrawal I drove to Plum Island on Dec 6. It was a bright day. There were plenty of ducks and other water birds on the pools but photography was difficult, since the low winter sun was in my eyes most of the day. I did get some good photos though of Gadwalls. Here is my report:

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT 



Bald Eagle with GW Teal

On Saturday, November 28th, 2009, I went to photograph the Ivory Gull at Cape May. After having my fill of taking pictures of this very cooperative visitor, I decided to stop at E.B. Forsythe NWR (Brigantine) on my way home. I was at the end of my first go around when I saw a Bald Eagle in the water. My first thought was that it had caught a very large fish and could not lift it from the water. Well to my surprise, the Bald Eagle had taken a Green-winged Teal.
Please enjoy the attached photo and the photos at the following link:
---Mike DeBonis



West Brattleboro Fox Sparrow

The Wednesday snowstorm brought in 10 additional Dark-eyed Juncos and a lone FOX SPARROW to our feeders here at Chipmunk Crossing. They joined the regular Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers, WB Nuthatches and a pair of Cardinals.




Brattleboro Christmas Bird Count

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I know that you care about the birds or you wouldn’t be reading this. I am sure that most of you have bird feeding stations and take note of what birds are enjoying the suet, mixed seed, thistle seed or sunflower seeds, that you supply them. They can use the extra help now that the snow has arrived and the frigid temperatures are upon us. We could also use your help counting those birds on the 19th and you don’t even have to leave the comfort of your homes or spend all day doing it.

    Just check your feeders as you normally do and make note of the birds that you see. Then mark down the highest number of each that you observe. For example: If you see one chickadee, then later see 3 chickadees, you would report the high count of 3. You can start and stop counting at any time. I only ask that you send an e-mail of your totals to me, Al Merritt,

Please include your name and address so that we can add your totals to the proper areas.

Thank You!


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.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

BIRD NOTES ~ December 6, 2009

Macgillivary’s Warbler © John Harrison and Ivory Gull © Howard Eskin


Bird Notes



The local birding reports have slowed down considerably, so I have elected to include reports from the rare bird sector that may be of interest.



Macgillivary’s Warbler in Boston

This little guy is far from its home in western United States and has been hanging out for over two weeks at Fenway Gardens. Field guides list it as a rare visitor as far east as the Mississippi River. So, I would say that this bird is extremely rare as far east as Boston. (See photo attached)



Ivory Gull at Cape May, NJ

Michael and I drove down to Cape May from Sussex, NJ, yesterday (Dec. 3) to see the Ivory Gull reported to be hanging out at the Breezee Lee marina off Ocean Drive in Wildwood Crest.  When we arrived around 1:00, it was resting on some pilings opposite a small parking lot.  Kevin Karlson, a wildlife photographer and photojournalist, was monitoring the scene and was kept busy shooing away large gulls from the fish carcasses laid out for the Ivory Gull.  The bird offered terrific photo ops and seemed unconcerned by the humans only feet away from its fish dinner.  We got excellent views of the bird at rest, flying overhead and feasting on those fish carcasses.  It was an experience worth the 400 mile round-trip drive.  (See attachment)

---Molly Martin & Michael King



Snowy Owl at Plum Island, MA

The first Snowy Owl report of the season was on 12/1 when a Connecticut birder found a very white specimen sitting on the dike at the North Pool overlook. Today (12/5) the bird is being observed from the Warden's Station looking west across Plum Island Sound. It is perched on top of a flagpole on the mainland.



Retreat Meadow

The Retreat Meadow continues to be void of the usual migrating ducks. The only reports are of several Common Mergansers and the hundred or so Canada Geese that seem to be dominating the scene. The forecast of colder temperatures heading this way will soon be chasing even them, to the warmer water above and below the Vernon Dam.


*  *  *  *  *  *

December 7, 1941

There aren’t many of us around that remember the infamous sneak attack by the Japanese on our naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on that fateful day. Monday will be the 68th anniversary of that day that led to the declaration of war by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Let us never forget the bravery of those men and women  that lost their lives on that day and the others that survived and fought back to defeat the enemy.




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.