SVAS Field Trip 4.24.10
SVAS Field Trip, Saturday April 24
The sky was blue, and the air a crisp 34 degrees F. Not exactly an ideal temperature for seeking out early spring migrants. We only had the weatherman’s word that the thermometer would later attain higher digits. Regardless, sixteen undaunted birders enjoyed the invigorating walk along East Orchard Street and beyond to Gibson Road. There were a few good birds to look at: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-headed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, and Field Sparrow as well as some nice patches of wildflowers, growing roadside: Red Trillium, Colts Foot and Bloodroot. Next stops were the fields surrounding the water treatment plant on Route 30 and then the cornfield along the West River Trail. Some of the bird species seen were several Song Sparrows, 2 Swamp Sparrows, 2 Savannah Sparrows, a Great Blue Heron, a number of Tree Swallows, 20 Turkey Vultures, 2 Red-tailed Hawks and a Coopers Hawk. At the end of the walk several of us drove to Vernon to check on the nesting Bald Eagles. We had a good vantage point to scope their huge nest of sticks. But, because the eagle was sitting so low in the nest only the very top of its white feathered head could be seen. This could only mean that it had the egg or eggs nestled safely in its brood patch. Time will tell. While there we added 2 more species to our list: Belted Kingfisher and Pileated Woodpecker. On the way home Barb and I stopped to check out the Miller’s farm Pond on Peck’s Road and saw a lone Green-winged Teal. All told we counted 35 species on a delightful Spring morning. It was just great to be out and about with such an enthusiastic group.
*NOTE: Hollie Bowen reported that later that afternoon she stopped to check out the eagles and found that one was sitting on a bare limb in the tree to the right of the nest.
PARTICIPANTS: Hollie Bowen, Bob Engel, Robyn Flatley, Susan James, Leo & Mary Laitres, Shaun Murphy, Paul Miksis, Jeff Nugent, Chris Petrak, Carol Schnabel, Dianne Shapiro, Marshall Wheelock, Lani Wright, and Al & Barb Merritt
There were numerous Hermit Thrushes in Athens yesterday along with Yellow-rumped Warbler, Winter Wren, and White-throated Sparrows.
Bennet Meadow, MA
On Sunday 4/18 I saw a Palm Warbler at Bennet Meadow and a pair of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers on the rail trail between Northfield and Hinsdale.
---Lani Wright, Brattleboro, VT
On the 22nd we saw the first Rough-wing Swallows of the season along with the regular Tree Swallows. The Osprey pair was still busy with their nest building atop the north tower at the power line crossing.
Chipmunk Crossing, West Brattleboro
The pair of Ruffed Grouse that had been visiting our ground feeding station hasn’t been seen in a couple of days. While they were coming in we had a chance to study these two beautiful creatures like never before. Mostly you only catch a glimpse as they scurry across a back road or you just hear them “drumming” in the woods. We were surprised to learn something of their eating habits. They eat very little corn and wild bird seed but really enjoy their greens, eating dandelion leaves and buds on shrubs and trees. On the 22nd we had our first Hermit Thrush stop by, and have a pair of nesting Phoebes under our eaves. Other confirmed nesters include Black-capped Chickadee and Hairy Woodpecker.
The Spring migration is really starting to fire up. So, please keep those reports coming in so we can share them with everyone.
W. Brattleboro, VT
A friend is someone who reaches for your hand
and touches your heart.