Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Saturday, March 27, 2010

[BIRD NOTES] ~ March 27, 2010

Ring-necked Ducks by Google


Bird Notes




A lone Snow Goose was foraging in the cornfield behind the Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro along with 130 Canada Geese and at least 12 Killdeer this afternoon. A Kingfisher was busy catching dinner in the pond on the south side of the field. There was also one Common Goldeneye diving in the West River on the Marina side.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT



Allen Bros. Marsh, Westminster, VT

The marsh is finally free of ice. Friday there were several Canada Geese, a Kingfisher, an Eastern Phoebe, a pair of Wood Ducks, a Bluebird, a mixed flock of Blackbirds; i.e. Rusty, Red-winged and Grackles.




Evening Grosbeaks in Northfield, MA (3/22)

Two pair (male/female) of Evening Grosbeaks arrived at our platform feeders yesterday and again today. I had one pair all last summer without being able to confirm breeding even though likely. No sign of them all winter so hopefully I'll be able to track down a nest this year. Several American Woodcock actively displaying all around our fields. Also took a run by Barton Cove in Gill. Here's a count of birds seen at that location.


Ring-necked Duck (26)

Bufflehead (2)

Common Merganser (6)

Tree Swallow (75)

---Mark Taylor, Northfield, MA



West River from Marina Road

There was an adult N. Shrike in the treetops around the parking area for the West River Trail, behind the Marina Restaurant in Brattleboro this morning. Also there was a pair of Carolina Wrens between the buildings and the marsh at the same location.

Other selected sightings behind the Marina on 3/21:

150 Canada Geese

  3 Killdeer
  2 Buffleheads (M&F)

 15 Wood Ducks

  4 Black Ducks `

 30 Mallards

  4 Hooded Mergansers
  5 House Finches

  2 Common Mergansers (M&F)

  3 Bluebirds

  1 White-throated Sparrow

  and numerous Song and Tree Sparrows.

In the Retreat Meadows, viewed from Rt 30:

 1 female Ring-necked Duck

 3 Green-winged Teal (yesterday there were 17)

16 Ring-billed Gulls

 1 Herring Gull

 1 Turkey Vulture

11 Common Mergansers

 1 Red-tailed Hawk.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT




Phoebe in Putney

A belated report. Allison Deen had a singing Phoebe in Putney on 3/20.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT





(10am-2pm) 21 March 2010

Wood Duck - 9

Mallard - 27

Green-winged Teal - 10

Ring-necked Duck - 13

Common Merganser - 4 at Wilson Pond

Hooded Merganser - 1 male

Gull sp - 1 up in the stratosphere

Wild Turkey - 3

Ruffed Grouse - 1 drumming

GREAT BLUE HERON - 1 flyover (FOY Lance)

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 adult

Cooper's Hawk - 1 adult

Red-tailed Hawk - 2

American Kestrel - 1 male

Killdeer - 3



Brown Creeper - 2 singing

Song Sparrow - 7

Dark-eyed Junco - 12

Red-winged Blackbird - 20

RUSTY BLACKBIRD - 5 (FOY for both of us)


Painted Turtle - 6



(2:30-3:15pm) 21 March 2010

AMERICAN WIGEON - 2 (a male and female on an arm of ice hanging with the

Black Ducks and Bufflehead, not sure if either of us have had this species

away from the coast or Connecticut River)

American Black Duck - 12 (a great count for this location)


Common Merganser - 2

Turkey Vulture - 4

Bald Eagle - 1 adult

Cooper's Hawk - 2

Red-tailed Hawk - 3

Pileated Woodpecker - 1

FOX SPARROW - 1 singing (FOY for me)

Red-winged Blackbird - 4

Common Grackle - 20


Good Birding!

---Kenneth Klapper (Spofford, NH) and Lance Tanino (Keene, NH)



Local Sightings

Our lone Tom Turkey showed up today and even though it was raining, its head shone bright red in the subdued light of the day. Chipmunks have been out and about all week. It was good to see them again. There was a Bluebird flitting about in the same field along Meadowbrook Road that supported the N. Shrike for a week. The Retreat Meadows are still pretty much iced in so waterfowl are scarce. But, we did have two (probably a mated pair) Red-tailed Hawks fly north past the water treatment plant. One returned to land in a tree across Rt. 30 from the entrance to the plant. Today (3/26) we watched a juvenile Bald Eagle as it circled up to it’s desired altitude before sailing off across the Connecticut River toward Chesterfield, NH.



Eagles of the NE Kingdom on VPT

Tuesday, March 30, at 9 p.m., it’s a new season of VPT’s “Outdoor Journal.”  Lawrence Pyne goes spring fly fishing for smallmouth bass in Ferrisburgh on Lewis Creek.  He visits the Poultney River at the southern tip of Lake Champlain with a Nature Conservancy biologist to check on the health of the freshwater mussel population.  In recent years, bald eagles began nesting again in Vermont after many decades.  “Outdoor Journal” visits the Northeast Kingdom, where Paul Hamelin of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department shows eagles raising their eaglet.  The program will re-air Saturday, April 3, at 10 a.m. and will be available on demand at

---Ann Curran, VPT


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


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society



Sunday, March 21, 2010

[BIRD NOTES] ~ March 21, 2010

Black Bear caught in the act. © Google


Bird Notes


The resident Red-winged Blackbirds have arrived at the Retreat Meadows and are staking out territories as they display their bright red epaulets and shout to the world “Okareee!” On the east side of the meadows along Marina road near the corn stubble field, we came across a small flock of 9 Tree Sparrows and several Goldfinch.

     At Chipmunk Crossing a Pileated Woodpecker has been calling, but not seen yet and our Song Sparrow has returned 4 days earlier than last year. On Thursday a Sharp-shinned Hawk fluttered against our dining room window before flying off into the woods. What is left of the snow, which at one time was knee deep, is melting away fast and the long fingers of the daffodils are poking up though last Fall’s dead leaves.


Westminster Tree Swallows

Tree Swallows are back at Allen Brothers Marsh in Westminster along with Kingfisher, Wood Duck and Hooded Mergansers.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


An Early Bat in Vernon

As we rode our bikes south on Route 5 in Vernon today (March 18), a bat was spotted flying over the road at about 2 pm.

---Mark Mikolas, Brattleboro, VT


Easter Phoebe

The Easter Phoebe brings fertile eggs to all good birds while they sleep, on the first Sunday morning after the first full moon of spring.


For the not so good birds; they get a visit from a Brown-headed Cowbird.


Couldn't resist.........

---Glenn d'Entremont, Stoughton, MA




Parker River NWR, Plum Island, MA (3/17/10)

Observer: Lance Tanino, Keene, NH

Red-throated Loon   1

Common Loon   4

Horned Grebe   2

Red-necked Grebe   1

Mute Swan   1

Canada Goose   39

Green-winged Teal   7

American Black Duck   180

Northern Pintail   17

Gadwall   73

Common Eider   27

Long-tailed Duck   4

Black Scoter   4

Surf Scoter   4

White-winged Scoter   2

Common Goldeneye   2

Bufflehead   7

Red-breasted Merganser   1

Ring-billed Gull   X

Herring Gull   X

Great Black-backed Gull   X

Black-legged Kittiwake   1

Horned Lark   14

American Crow   2

Black-capped Chickadee   2

Song Sparrow   2

Red-winged Blackbird   6

Common Grackle   1



Vermont Public Television Program Note:

American Masters, Monday, March 22 at 10 pm


John James Audubon:

Drawn from Nature


In a dramatic, contradictory story, the man who is synonymous with the American wilderness and conservation movement emerges as the man who probably killed more birds than anyone else in history. Energetic, gifted and vain, Audubon was self-taught and self-made, the illegitimate son of a French sea captain and Haitian servant girl. From the Caribbean and the French countryside, he eventually settled in the American south at age 19 and, after failed business efforts and bankruptcy, pursued his true passion - finding, shooting and drawing birds - ultimately realizing his dream of publishing The Birds of America, the monumental collection of 435 life-size prints, now each fetching more than $100,000 at auction. The National Audubon Society has more than a half-million members today and his legacy is ever relevant.




Black Bears are awakening from their long winter nap and

could be visiting a feeder near 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


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society


A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

 and touches your heart.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March, 18, 2010

Ruddy Shelduck © Google  /  Greater White-fronted Goose © Julie Waters


Bird Notes




Spring Officially Arrives at 1:30 pm on Saturday, March 20th

I hope that you all have been getting out and enjoying the unusually warm, sunny weather. Flocks of waterfowl have been moving through the Connecticut River Valley with many species being represented. Two pair of Bald Eagles are showing signs of possible nesting. A Northern Shrike is still hunting in a field at the top of Meadowbrook Road near the Pleasant Valley Rd. intersection. Last week a Red-shouldered Hawk was also seen in that area. At least 2 White-fronted Geese are foraging in a cornfield along Rt. 5 in Westminster, VT accompanied by Wood Ducks, Canada Geese and a Cackling Goose. On the 11th and 12th an exotic Ruddy Shelduck was also observed there.  So, keep your eyes open for our migrating feathered friends . . . they are coming to a field, a body of water, or maybe a feeder near you!



Goshawk in West Brattleboro

Meg (Kluge) reported seeing a Northern Goshawk just up the road from our house on Wednesday morning. This morning(3/12) I saw a Common Grackle on Rte. 9 just east of Bonnyvale. First of the season. We started recording yearly firsts last year, and our records show our first Grackle in 2009 on April 4.


Also, wondering if you've seen this article on the BBC website, about a rather extensive survey of songbirds in the Eastern US:

---Ned Pokras, W. Brattleboro, VT




West B. Hawk

I saw a Red-shouldered Hawk both yesterday and today (3/12) perched on a branch on the east side of Meadowbrook Rd. near the Reisman Farm.  Eventually, it flew south over the fields across from the farm and landed in a tree on the other side of the field.

--Nori Howe, W. Brattleboro, VT 



Westminster White-fronted Goose

SAT 3/13 in cornfields west of rte 5 in the flats in Westminster, VT there was a huge flock of Canada Geese with about 6 Greater White-fronted Geese. Don't know if this is really unusual for here in migration, Sibley characterizes them as "rare" in the east. A first for me, in any case.

---Sumner Grey, Langdon, NH



Connecticut River Valley--March 12, 2010

Location:   Great Meadows, Charlestown

Observer: Lance Tanino

Canada Goose     285

Mallard     10

Northern Goshawk     1 flew over Route 12

American Crow     80; many more flocks migrating north over Route 12

this afternoon.

FISH CROW     1 heard among a flock of AMCRs near wastewater treatment plant

Red-winged Blackbird     3


Location:     Route 12 CT River, Charlestown (across Herrick's Cove IBA, VT)

American Black Duck     50

Mallard     55

Ring-necked Duck     1

Common Goldeneye     25

Hooded Merganser     28

Sharp-shinned Hawk     1 flew low over the river headed north

Ring-billed Gull     13


Location: Hinsdale Setbacks, Hinsdale, NH

Canada Goose     282



Mallard     87

BUFFLEHEAD     3 males

Ring-necked Ducks    35

Common Goldeneye     16

Hooded Merganser     12

Common Merganser     23

Bald Eagle     1 adult

Ring-billed Gull     17

Herring Gull (American)     4

Great Black-backed Gull     8

Belted Kingfisher     1

Red-bellied Woodpecker     1

Song Sparrow     1 (First of year)

BLACKBIRD (SP.)  1263 (mixed Red-wing Blackbird/Common Grackle flocks flew north headed towards roost trees and marsh.)



March 14, 2010

Hinsdale Setbacks, Hinsdale, NH

Canada Geese    268

American Black Duck    36

Mallard    45

Ring-necked Ducks    43

Bufflehead   3(M)

Common Goldeneye   18

Hooded Merganser   13

Common Merganser   11

Bald Eagle    1(Juv)

Ring-billed Gulls    5

Herring Gulls    5

Great Black-backed Gull    1

American Crow   2

Black-capped Chickadee    1

American Tree Sparrow    6

Dark-eyed Junco    1

N. Cardinal    1

Blackbird (sp?) 1405

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH



Vernon Eagle

I saw a Bald Eagle flying with something in its claws from the river toward the woods on Rt. 142 north, just past the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Has anyone else seen it in this area. I hope there may be a nest near. Will watch from now on.

---Judy Farley, Vernon, 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


Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society



Tuesday, March 09, 2010

[BIRD NOTES] ~ March 9, 2010



Bird Notes




Birding from a Warm Igloo

My reward, after breaking a trail to the feeders Saturday, was a visit from a Red-breasted Nuthatch, only the second time I've seen one there this year.  Of course, I had to go to the second floor to see it as a combination of what fell from the sky and from our roof has blocked the first floor windows!  It's a bit like living in a warm igloo!  The RBN stayed around all weekend.  I've also seen a Barred Owl on MacArthur Road a couple of mornings lately.

---Hollie Bowen, Marlboro, VT




Vernon Dam & South

The following birds were seen yesterday (3/6) from the Vernon Dam south for several miles along the river:
Bald Eagle, Red-tailed hawk(3), Common Merganser, Common Goldeneye (approximately 20), Flicker,  Eastern Bluebird.

---Mitch Harrison, Wardsboro, VT




Dorset Redpoll

What a surprise to count a redpoll among the incidental goldfinches at my feeder today.  Have not seen any all year and I know reports have been scarce.  This bird was very white and I had thoughts of calling it a Hoary, but I have just not 'refined' my differentiation skills very well to do that.... yet! Also lots of robins foraging on the open grasses and bluebirds singing too.
---Ruth Stewart, E. Dorset,VT




Bellows Falls

Migration was observed tonight from below Bellow Falls Dam along the CT River.  Most activity began after 5:30pm.  A nice flock of seven Turkey Vultures were followed by other species that flew north overhead such as a large flock of Ring-billed Gulls and a small flock of Red-winged Blackbirds.

Location:    Bellows Falls Dam/CT River
Observation date:     3/8/10
Time:  4:40 - 5:55pm

Mallard     2
Common Goldeneye     19
Hooded Merganser     3
Common Merganser     3
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Ring-billed Gull     26
American Robin     22

---Lance Tanino, Keene, NH




West Brattleboro Shrike

An adult N. Shrike was working the field on the east side of Meadowbrook Rd. across from the intersection of Pleasant Valley Rd in W. Brattleboro this morning and this afternoon. It was teeing up in the small trees/bushes scattered throughout the field, then swooping down to the snow for a few seconds (hunting voles?), before teeing up again on a new perch. This is the first N. Shrike I've seen this year in Southern VT.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT




Allen Bros. Marsh

In the speckled alder at marsh edge two bluebirds about noon (3/7).

Ice still covering open water.
---Michael St. John, Rockingham, VT




Guilford Blackbirds
Lots of Guilford Red-winged Blackbirds and a couple of Cowbirds - and wonderful early morning bird song is starting.

---Susan James, Guilford, VT








“Sea Kayaking in Mingan Archipelago National Park"



Tuesday, March 16 - 7pm


In the meeting room of Brattleboro's Brooks Library


Lew Teich will lead a photo adventure among the unique sandstone islands at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Carved by relentless wind into amazing monolithic shapes, the islands feature a wide variety of ecosystems with diverse plant & animal life. Lew is a local contractor, cabinetmaker, and registered Maine sea kayak guide. 

This program is sponsored by Southeastern VT Audubon Society

FREE and open to the public



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

Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society