Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, April 30, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ April 30, 2012

SVAS Field Trip to Conecticut & West River valleys

Bird Notes



SVAS Field Trip: Bird Watching Along the Connecticut

It was the first field trip of the season and 32 degrees and sunny at 6:30 in the morning on Saturday. Not exactly the temperature that we would pick for our first bird walk of the season, in fact not for any birding day, with the exception of the Christmas Count.  The remarkable part of this walk was that an unprecedented 24 people showed up at Memorial Park at precisely the 8:00am meeting time. We started by birding part of East Orchard Street, then to the Retreat Meadows at the water treatment plant, on to Marina Road, and then the overlook at the Miller Farm in Vernon, with the last stop being at the Stebbins Road power line drive and overlook. By that time there were only 3 of us left. Despite the less than desirable conditions we were able to find 30 species of birds:

  1. Common Loon
  2. Great Blue Heron
  3. Turkey Vulture
  4. Canada Goose
  5. Osprey
  6. Bald Eagle
  7. Ring-billed Gull
  8. Rock Dove
  9. Mourning Dove
  10. Downy Woodpecker
  11. Hairy Woodpecker
  12. Eastern Phoebe
  13. Blue Jay
  14. Crow
  15. Common Raven
  16. Tree Swallow
  17. Black-capped Chickadee
  18. Eastern Bluebird
  19. Robin
  20. Mockingbird
  21. Starling
  22. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  23. Chipping Sparrow
  24. Field Sparrow
  25. Song Sparrow
  26. Cardinal
  27. Red-winged Blackbird
  28. Common Grackle
  29. Goldfinch
  30. House Sparrow

Highlights were Bluebirds at the golf course, a Common Loon fly by on E. Orchard, an Osprey flyover and a perched immature Bald Eagle at the Retreat Meadows and a pair of Osprey that were busy making baby Ospreys on the railing of the power line tower near Vermont Yankee. We watched a second immature Bald Eagle fishing in the Connecticut River from our vantage point at the Miller Farm overlook. At the Stebbins Road power line driveway we set up the scope to view the eagle’s nest in a pine tree on the south side of the earthen part of the Vernon Dam. Our patience was rewarded with a look at an adult bird that raised up from the nest while all the time looking down at an egg(?) or a youngster(?). We should know the answer in a week or so. While this was taking place a Raven flew overhead announcing its presence with loud raucous croaks.


It was a great morning, with no thanks to the no-show of some of the expected species. Thanks do go out to the undaunted 22 that braved that frosty early morn to join us in the field. We hope to see you all on the upcoming field trips. (See the attached photo for a look at our group.)

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



There was definitely a nip in the air this morning birding Somerset in the Green Mts. The highlight was getting nice looks at a pair of WHITE-WINGED COSSBILLS before they disappeared into the forest about a 1/2 mile south of the reservoir. Other birds of note were 8 Pine Siskins, 5 Blue-headed Vireos, 2 R-b Nuthatches, 4 Yellow-rumped Warblers, 1 B&W Warbler, 1 Hermit Thrush and 1 Winter Wren.

---Dave Johnston, W. Brattleboro, VT



*NOTE: The first pair of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds has made their appearance at a feeder in Sullivan County, NY. It will not be long before they will be arriving in Brattleboro. Wash up those hummer feeders, fill them with sugar water and hang them up. They will be real hungry after that long trip from the south.




Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT







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