Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 25, 2012

Pine Warbler (file photo)                                                             Pied-billed Grebe © Julie Waters


Bird Notes



Bohemians at C&S

A mixed flock of about 60 waxwings,~ 40 Bohemian, was feeding from the
ornamental fruit trees by the C&S Warehouse on Putney Rd in Brattleboro
early this afternoon. (3/24)  Enjoy.

---Dave Johnston, West Brattleboro, VT.



Timber Doodles, Wood Frogs & Bats

Last evening I heard 2 Woodcocks in our neighborhood on Black Mountain

Road in Brattleboro. Their peenting was almost drowned out by the unbelievable din made by spring peepers and wood frogs. I was thrilled to see 2 bats fly circles over our house and wetland. The woodcocks  were doing their courtship singing again when I stepped out at about 6:30 this morning. (3/21)
---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro


Hi Hilke (
I'm glad you're hearing wood frogs.  I walked out to look at the vernal pools in our  hay fields a couple days ago.  They were full of water, but no eggs yet.  I was worried that -- with the warm weather -- the pools might be gone before the amphibians get to them.  Hopefully that won't be the case.  Your wood frogs give hope.

      We had a bright-yellow Yellow Shafted Flicker on our suet feeder this morning.  Interesting species.  In large groups on the ground feeding on ants (according to Sibley) in the fall.  In the trees in summer.  On feeders now (perhaps all the energy in the fat is great for post-migration recovery).  Omnivore?  Or just opportunist?

      I've been thinking about the bats that community members have been reporting.  I remember hearing a program on Jane Lindholm's show with a couple experts on White-nose.  They said that often, the individual bats we see flying around are those infected with the fungus.  Perhaps that's only in winter (hopefully), but I'd like to know whether I should be expressing joy or feeling sadness over the furry-fliers that are being seen.
---Scott Sainsbury,  Moretown




Vernon Birds

Watched a happy phoebe up at the rec center in Vernon. Yesterday. There was a kinglet also but the sun was the wrong way so didn't know which it was. Bummer, too tiny and far up. Bluebirds singing a song in the back yard, cowbirds raiding the feeder. Lots of grackles. All a sign of spring. Our regular Red-bellied is calling and tapping for his mate.   Visitors to our feeder this winter were tree sparrows, goldfinches, downy and hairy woodpeckers. chick-a-dees, bluejays, cardinals and house sparrows. Maybe more when we didn't see them. didn't have nuthatches this year. Thanks for all the news.

---Judy Farley, Vernon, VT



Herricks Cove Pine Warbler

An early Pine Warbler at Herricks Cove this morning flew into a conifer in front of me and began to trill. A strange Spring.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT



Allen Brothers Marsh

A pair of Wood Ducks (the male is absolutely dazzling), many Tree Swallows, Pied-billed Grebe, Belted Kingfisher, a small mixed flock of Blackbirds and the usual dozen or so Canada Geese.





Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT






Tuesday, March 20, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 20, 2012

Bird Notes


Today (3/17) Don Clark and I birded along the CT River  starting in Vernon where
the highlights were a pair of A. Wigeon in Miller's Farm Pond and several
Bufflehead diving in the CT River; not much else happening. We worked our
way up to the Great Putney Meadows where we found a Brant and nine Snow
Geese with a few hundred Canada Geese. At Herricks Cove, a few G-w Teal,
Bufflehead,etc, we observed a large skein of Geese flying south down the CT River

and landing in the river about a mile or so south of Herricks. We located them
and found one Red-necked Grebe in the river near the Geese; other than
Canadas, there were 2 Snow Geese. A final highlight was finding a White-winged Scoter

at Minards Pond in Bellows Falls. Lots of Geese flying along the river in the late afternoon . . .More fun tomorrow.
---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT


Blue Nesters

The pair of Bluebirds is back in my bluebird box.  What joy it 

brings.  I live next to the Connecticut River on Wantastiquet Drive.  

Thanks to everyone for their reporting. 

---Diana Bingham, Brattleboro, VT


Flying High

What a great weekend to be a flier.  While I was out stacking wood and pruning fruit trees this weekend 11 red-shouldered hawks cruised over head (6 Sat., 5 on Sun.).  I also saw 2 red tails and two TVs.  There were probably many more that I didn't see, but the red-shoulders were so vocal it was hard not to pay attention.
---Pieter van Looon, Marlboro, VT


GBBC Smashes Records!

You did it! Or, as one participant tweeted:  "Way to go, citizen scientists!" Participation in the 15th Great Backyard Bird Count, February 17-20, shattered all previous records. Bird watchers in the U.S. and Canada submitted more than 104,000 checklists, reported 623 species, and observed more than 17.4 million birds. New checklist records were set in 22 states and in 6 Canadian provinces. The 100,000th checklist was submitted by Denise St. Pierre and her family in Lac Du Bonnet, Manitoba. To mark that watershed moment we’re awarding Denise the Eliminator Squirrel-Proof Feeder donated by Wild Birds Unlimited.




Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT









Wednesday, March 14, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 13, 2012

American Woodcock


Bird Notes




Two Woodcocks started displaying last night near my house in Guilford.  I hope they stick around.  There was a Song Sparrow under the feeders this morning.

 ---Susan James, Guilford, VT



We heard our first Woodcocks this evening, at least 3 of same on Bonnyvale Rd.

---Ned Pokras, W. Battleboro, VT



Heard a Woodcock peenting across the road from us on Black Mountain Rd at 6:30 tonight.
---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro, VT



I went in search of the barnacle goose and greater white-fronted goose this afternoon in Vernon.  Struck out on Stebbins Road, so went to the hydro dam.  Found a large flock of Canada geese just upstream of the dam and scanned it for an hour with my scope.  No Barnacle, but there were two greater White-fronted Geese.  Also a couple Gadwalls and 4 Widgeons.
---Pieter van Loon, Marlboro, VT



FOY Meadowlarks at Upper Meadows, Rockingham, VT & in the cornfields of S Charlestown, NH.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


Observed another yellow banded (Canada) goose today in Walpole with the letters GJN.  Had 2 Great White-fronted with 20 Snows & 1000+ Canadas at Springfield Meadows this morning. Possibly the Vernon birds.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT



A leisurely ride along Ferry Road in northern Brattleboro afforded us good looks at a pair each of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and Eastern Bluebirds. Both species in brilliant spring plumage. Back at the Retreat Meadows we found the resident Red-tailed Hawk sunning itself in the top of a willow tree, while on Marina Road we observed a pair of Hooded Mergansers puddle-ducking in the little pond at the base of the radio tower.

---Al & Barb, W. Brattleboro, VT




Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT







Friday, March 09, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 09, 2012

Barnacle Goose © Dave Johnston


Bird Notes



Barnacle & White-fronted Goose in Vernon

They are still being viewed in the large cornfield and manure pile east of Stebbins Road. Also beyond that location on and around an island in the Connecticut River that they, the Canada Geese and Mallards have been using as a roost..



Red-tail and Red Squirrel

While driving to town down Western Ave. yesterday afternoon, we glanced out the window to our left at a large bird that was eye level and racing by us in the same direction. It was a Red-tailed Hawk just gliding low over the sidewalk, legs extended and talons spread in attack mode. We were advancing just below the legal speed of 30, the hawk was exceeding the speed limit and dropping lower and lower until it hit the snowy ground with wings raised and a dusting of snow exploding.  Its target was a red squirrel which somehow managed to squirm loose and scamper up a nearby tree. By this time we had passed both of them and by looking in the driver’s side rear view mirror I could see the bewildered Red-tail standing on the snow looking around for its quarry which by now must have been sitting safely up in that tree with heart pounding.

Red-tail 0,  Red Squirrel 1 .



Bald Eagles performing in Guilford

Is it possible that eagles would be mating this time of year? (Yes, it is that time of year.)  My son saw two eagles lock talons and tumble earthward for several seconds before disengaging and flying off.  He thought they were fighting.  He saw the eagles on Sunday the 26th of February in the sky to the east of the Guilford Community Church.  He was in the parking lot behind the church, heard the "skreees" in the sky and thought they were going to crash into the woods before they flew apart.

          Also, can you pass on the name of the presenter who covered for the binocular expert at the last meeting?  He was sensational.

---Bob Glennon

(The presenter that evening was Paul Miller, who on such short notice, entertained us with a wonderful slide show presentation.)



Goshawk and Horned Larks in West Northfield, MA

South of Vernon, just over the state line into Massachusetts on West Northfield Road, we saw a Northern Goshawk sunning himself in a  tree at the edge of a stubbled  cornfield. It  flew off as we were setting up a scope for a closer look. Further along on River Road we came across a flock of 14 Horned Larks feeding in the plowed snowbanks at roadside.   



Migration in Progress

Many small, mixed flocks of Blackbirds (Red-winged, Cowbirds, Grackles and Rusty) have been observed flying north over the Vernon farm fields. On Tuesday afternoon a Bald Eagle was seen sitting atop the manure pile at the end of Blodgett Road in Vernon. Also observed were a huge flock of Mallards, 2 Turkey Vultures, many Robins & Killdeer in and over the fields and American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks and Common Mergansers in the river.





On Saturday Night, Set Clocks Ahead One Hour

Control + Click for World Clock:





 Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT








Thursday, March 01, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ March 1, 2012

Bird Notes


Yellow-collared Canada Geese

In the previous edition of BIRD NOTES Don Clark mentioned 4 Canada Geese with distinctive yellow collars numbered and lettered GA2, GL5, GL9 and GNS, found in the Connecticut River north of the dam in Vernon, VT. In keeping with the same protocol we followed a couple of years ago after finding Canada Goose G23 at the Retreat Meadows we contacted Tony Fox who is affiliated with The Department of Wildlife Ecology and Biodiversity, University of Aarhus,  in Denmark. We found that these 4 geese had been tagged by Danish volunteers in Greenland.  The geese had been tracked to a pond on campus at U. Mass, Amherst where they had been wintering until now.  See attachment for example of Canada Geese captured and collared in Greenland.



F.O.Y. Red-wing

Red-winged Blackbird today (2/28) at my home in Guilford!

---Mick Durante, Guilford, VT



West B. Creeper

I saw my little Brown Creeper on the black birch in my back yard - hadn't seen him last year.

---Lerna, West Brattleboro, VT



Sap Buckets & Blackbirds

The sap buckets are up on our road, and today (2/28) there were 3 Red-winged Blackbirds singing away above them in the trees. It's still February, and its going to snow tomorrow-- what a crazy winter!.

---Burt Tepfer, Putney VT.



Eagles Over Downtown

At 11 AM today (2/28) I saw 2 adult Bald Eagles circling low over Birge and Organ Streets here in Brattleboro. I watched them circle higher and higher until they caught a stream of air that swept them north. A third eagle was circling upwards well behind the first two, his head gleaming white as it caught the sunlight. There was a Turkey Vulture as well in the area.

---Mary Lea, Brattleboro, VT



Stebbins Road, Vernon (2/28)

We hoped to find an Eagle at the Vernon Dam as we scoped from the Stebbins Road overlook this afternoon, but no luck. But we did find 3 Common Mergansers in the river below anad a multitude of Ring-billed Gulls on the sandbars. On the south side of  the dam were a pair of Hooded Mergansers diving near the eddys of the river’s swift current. At the edge of a small cattail marsh off of Blodgett Rd. we heard, then saw, our first of the year Red-Winged Blackbird.



Al Merritt

West Brattleboro, VT