The hawks are flying and they are not just being seen at Putney Mountain. Yesterday (9/17) while out working around the yard here at Chipmunk Crossing in West Brattleboro, we looked up at the overcast sky and spotted a small kettle of 6 Broad-winged Hawks that were drifting by on a northeast wind. They soon achieved their correct altitude and peeled off in single file on a southwesterly course. As we looked for more activity a large dark buteo flew by at treetop level, quickly disappearing behind the towering pines to our east. Suddenly, very high above to the northwest, a lone Osprey sailed over without moving a feather, heading in a southeasterly direction. Behind it 3 dark specs soon came into focus, Broad-wings, but they were headed SW as the previous 6. Out of the blue a Sharp-shinned Hawk came in low over the trees followed shortly afterward by a Broadwing heading east. Our heads were on a swivel trying to get good looks at these guys. This all happened between 11:30 and 12:00 while the wind was coming out of the NE. By 12:15 the wind had had changed direction and the clouds were now coming from the west. The raptor parade stopped. So, even though Putney Mountain is one of the premier hawk watching sights in Vermont, don’t think that you have to be there to observe this migration phenom . . . JUST LOOK UP!
Look Up for the Vultures Too
This morning I observed 3 Black Vultures circling high over Brattleboro. I returned the same afternoon and got some pretty good pictures of them returning to the roost (on Putney Road). See the follow-up pictures in my blog: www.onejackdawbirding.blogspot.com
I have been looking up at the sky and haven't seen any since.
---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT
Last week (Monday, Aug. 24, about 9:15 PM) I was astounded to first hear, and then see, what certainly seemed to me to be a Plover ... in the almost empty parking lot of Ocean State Discount on Rt. 12 in Walpole! Shortly afterwards, a second bird joined the first (to my relief.)
My personal experience with plovers is limited to having worked with a "swat team" building protective enclosures around Piping Plover nests with eggs, on Long Island beaches, but the sounds, movement, behavior and what I could see in the minimal parking lot light was like a flashback out of the blue (although without a beach!!!) These birds were definitely NOT Piping Plovers, everything about them was very similar, but a bit more "substantial": in all categories: louder/stronger voiced, slightly larger, and with slightly darker markings.
Later at home with my bird books, I couldn't find any sandpipers, etc. with such "plover-like" characteristics, although I certainly tried! Somehow, the idea of plovers of any kind on an asphalt Walpole parking lot was hard for me to swallow (although I guess that they can't only migrate over beaches!)
---Joan Ells, Brattleboro, VT
*Note: The description given of the birds and the habitat described, sounds to me to be that of Killdeer chicks. See attachment for a photo taken from Peterson’s Guide.
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