Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ November 13, 2012

Bird Notes





Snows at Dead Creek

Mae and Bill Mayville and I had a great morning at Dead Creek today...and we were sorry you weren’t there to enjoy it with us.  At day break at the  viewing area, the snow geese were impressive!  A large flock was seen near the pond at the far end of the corn field.  It was hard to get a sense of how many there were as they melded together into one large snow bank.  Soon there were large snow squalls appearing from the east.  Sailing over Snake Mountain, they glided, swirled, twisted and dipped their way to the fields adjacent to Sunset Lane, creating a blanket of fresh snow.  It brought back fond memories of  past years when tens of thousands would be seen in the skies, coming (it seemed) from all directions, flock after flock after flock.  Although today’s event was only a fraction of the totals seen in years past, it was just as beautiful.  We settled on an estimate of 2,500.  A few hours later at Arnold Bay, we met some birders from western Massachusetts that had been to the viewing area shortly after us.  They estimated the flock to be 3,000. Other highlights were a Merlin perched on a fence post with his breakfast, an occasional Pipit and Horned Lark flying over, and a Killdeer calling.

---Allison Wagner



High Country Birds

First week in November I have had visits from Evening Grosbeaks,  a Fox Sparrow and a Tree Sparrow joined  the normal feeder contingents:  Blue Jays, juncos, chickadees, both Nuthatches and Woodpeckers, six + Mourning Doves, a pair each of Cardinals  and Tufted Titmice.  The Raven flies over periodically and our normally seventeen member Turkey flock number has dropped to about 10. We do have coyotes around.

---Barbara Cole, Wilmington




Turners Falls Sightings

A BRANT, a CACKLING GOOSE, a RED-NECKED GREBE and a BONAPARTE’S GULL were at Turners Falls on Monday, 11/12



"An Original DUCKumentary."(VPT)

On Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m., "Nature" premieres "An Original DUCKumentary."  Vermont Public Television will broadcast this new film by Ann Johnson Prum, who produced "Hummingbirds."  It follows a wood duck family, discovering how a male and female create a bond and migrate together across thousands of miles.  They nurture their brood of chicks, then head to their wintering grounds.
The film includes two sequences shot by Vermont's Bryan Pfeiffer -- one from Marshfield and one from Montpelier.  It also includes footage of a hooded merganser nest at North Branch Nature Center in Montpelier.

---Ann Curran, Vermont Public Television



Winterizing for Wildlife

As fall becomes winter and temperatures drop, make your backyard more inviting to wildlife . . .

·       Provide songbirds with suet and other high-calorie foods such as peanut butter and chopped nuts.

·       Make sure local wildlife has a reliable source of water. Birds need water, not just to drink, but also to bathe, in order to keep their insulating feathers clean.

·       Cover is particularly important in winter, as wildlife needs shelter from both predators and cold weather. Collect fallen branches, twigs and leaves to add to your brush pile, to increase cover for small animals.

---National Wildlife Federation











P  R  O  G  R  A  M


Henry David Thoreau

The Theatre of the Natural World


English Professor Robert Fay visited the regions of New England

which were of special interest to Thoreau to see them

through the eyes of the famous naturalist and writer:

Walden Woods, The Monadnock Region, Cape Cod,

 The White Mountains, The Maine Woods.



The photographs that resulted from the visits represent the

theatre of the natural world. They encourage the viewer to see,

understand, and interpret the inner dramas that exist within the

natural world and within each image.


7 p.m., NOVEMBER 20, 2012


Community Room, Brooks Library

Sponsored by Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

FREE and open to the public.









Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT


A friend is someone who reaches for your hand

and touches your heart.



Friday, November 09, 2012

{BIRD NOTES} ~ November 8, 2012

Bird Notes


Pine Grosbeaks & Orange-crowned W.

I saw my first Pine Grosbeaks this year, 3 females feeding on ornamental crab apple trees. I posted my sighting on the VT Bird List but omitted to mention that this was on private property. Anyway, the birds have moved on, but I have seen several other reports today in VT and NH of sightings, so expect we'll see more.  A week or so ago I saw an Orange-crowned Warbler on Herricks Cove, a lifer for me. This moved me to write an article on warbler migration in the blog "Birding is Fun" where I am a contributor.

---Hilke Breder, Brattleboro


Mergansers at Setback

There were 18 Common Mergansers paddling around and diving in the waters of the setback at the bottom of Cotton Mill Hill this morning (11/6). We also spotted a Great Blue Heron sunning itself at waters edge just beyond the road’s guard-rails.



Retreat Meadows Scaup

Just off the Rt. 30 boat Launch at the Retreat Meadows, we counted 6 Lesser Scaup playing in the placid water accompanied by a large flock of Canada Geese and one pair of Mallards.



Power Canal, Turners Falls, MA

1 male & 2 female Bufflehead along with the usual large number of Canada Geese. We did not see the reported Cackling Geese.



A Flight of Golden Eagles in Oneonta, NY

Liza and I usually try to visit the Franklin Mountain Hawk Watch in Oneonta, NY once a year if favorable winds happen to coincide with a weekend. We usually have gone in late November and December when it was freezing cold. We had thought of going earlier this year. Andy Mason had posted last week on New York Birds that the weekend was likely to be good.  So after seeing 2 Golden Eagles at the I-84 Overlook(near Port Jervis, NY) on Saturday we wondered whether to go on Sunday to Oneonta to see more Golden Eagles. The most we have ever seen at Franklin Mountain in a day has been 8.
We decided to be "greedy" and went. Within five minutes of getting there 3 adult Golden Eagles flew in a tight bunch visible in one binocular field fairly low directly over the watch. Five minutes later there was another. Then it began intermittently snowing but over the entire day we had 21 GOLDEN EAGLES, 151 Red-tailed Hawk, 1 Goshawk, 1 Merlin, 1 Bald Eagle.
I missed only one of the Golden Eagle when I went up the hill to look for White-winged Crossbills which had been seen there 15 minutes before but had flown.

There were two interesting sightings:
1. One of the eagles I found was a distant bird with a dihedral seen with binoculars which went behind a tree at #1 and then rose above it coming moderately low and directly toward us.. Its head was whitish and many called it a Bald Eagle. However with the dihedral and its flap ending in an upstroke, the lack of white in the axillaries or anywhere on the underwing I called it a Golden Eagle and explained that the late evening sun was hitting the golden hackles making them look white, as Pete Dunne says in his book Hawks in Flight on page 151 of the first edition "more than one Golden Eagle has been pronounced an adult Bald Eagle for this reason."
2. Someone found a partly leucistic Red-tailed Hawk flying very high. I was able to find it in my scope and its entire dorsal surface [upper wing and back] was white while the ventral surface [underwing and body] were of a normal coloration. If you have looked at a distant gull flying in a thermal, the way it seems to disappear when it turns because of the pale mantle getting lost against a cloudy sky and seems to reappear when it's ventral surface is facing us, this hawk was exactly the same.


Franklin Mountain data can be seen at .

---Ajit & Liza Antony, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY

November 11, 2012



Al Merritt

W. Brattleboro, VT