Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{BIRD NOTES} ~ August 28, 2013

Bird Notes 


Nighthawks at Westminster Station

8/22  Another slow night in Westminster Station with only 13 birds passing through. Hopefully the weather change will get them moving.

8/23   Another slow night for Westminster Station with only 9 birds in a little over 2 hours.

          Almost an equal number of raptors with osprey, merlin, redtail, bald eagle, coops & tv.

8/24  The first big movement of the season at Westminster Station.  In the 2 hrs. of watching we had 248 birds with feeding groups of 28,34,42 & 68.

          Three adult bald eagles also passed by..

8/25  272 birds tallied in Westminster Station tonight.

8/26  Finally a good night with 607 birds. With a big flying ant hatch tonight one large group of 125 fed overhead for half an hour.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT

8/27  Amazing night!! One large flock of 579 and another of 213, gave us a total of 796 for the evening.
---JoAnne Russo, Saxtons River, VT


Photo by Hilke Breder


Nighthawks Over New Hampshire

Common Nighthawk migration appears to have peaked last weekend with high

counts of 2,202 tallied at Powdermill Pond in Hancock on August 24th, 966

recorded in Concord on the 25th, and 737 counted in Henniker on the 25th.

There were smaller numbers, including counts of up to 300 birds, reported

from scattered locations during the past week.

---New Hampshire RBA



Manchester Center Birdwalk

The next bird walk at Hildene in Manchetser Center, VT is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 at 8:00 am. NOTE TIME CHANGE. We meet at the visitor's center to begin the walk.
---Barbara Powers, Manchester Center, VT 



Grand Manan Island, Maine, USA

My friends Kathy Thompson and Mike Hebb just returned to Strafford VT after a week of birding at Grand Manan island, in the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. Here's what Mike said about it:


“Grand Manan was quite good.  We had one really rainy day (Friday) and 3 good ones.  Guided from a Hotel we visited many "hot spots" and got a whale sighting boat trip. Many humpbacks, fin whales and minkes.  Without the tour leader I wouldn't recommend it. He knew exactly where to go and just what birds to be found and was often able to call them out. There were 7 customers and we drove around in his van.”


We also did a ferry trip to a neighboring island called White Head. He made real use of the changing tides and the shore birds response to it. Roads are a bit narrow for biking but scenic. Here's our bird list and the website to consult for more information:



1.       Common Loon

2.       Pied-billed Grebe

3.       Great Shearwater

4.       Sooty Shearwater

5.       Manx Shearwater

6.       Wilson's Storm-Petrel

7.       Northern Gannet

8.       Great Cormorant

9.       Double-crested Cormorant

10.     Great Blue Heron

11.     Turkey Vulture

12.     Canada Goose

13.     Wood Duck

14.     American Wigeon

15.     American Black Duck

16.     Mallard

17.     Green-winged Teal

18.     Ring-necked Duck

19.     Common Eider

20.     Hooded Merganser

21.     Red-breasted Merganser

22.     Osprey

23.     Bald Eagle

24.     Broad-winged Hawk

25.     Merlin

26.     Peregrine Falcon

27.     Ring-necked Pheasant

28.     Black-bellied Plover

29.     Semipalmated Plover

30.     Greater Yellowlegs

31.     Lesser Yellowlegs

32.     Spotted Sandpiper

33.     Sanderling

34.     Semipalmated Sandpiper

35.     Least Sandpiper

36.     White-rumped Sandpiper

37.     Pectoral Sandpiper

38.     Red-necked Phalarope

39.     Red Phalarope

40.     Bonaparte's Gull

41.     Ring-billed Gull

42.     Herring Gull

43.     Great Black-backed Gull

44.     Black-legged Kittiwake

45.     Common Tern

46.     Common Murre

47.     Razorbill

48.     Black Guillemot

49.     Atlantic Puffin

50.     Rock Dove

51.     Mourning Dove

52.     Chimney Swift

53.     Ruby-throated Hummingbird

54.     Belted Kingfisher

55.     Downy Woodpecker

56.     Hairy Woodpecker

57.     Northern Flicker

58.     Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

59.     Alder Flycatcher

60.     Eastern Kingbird

61.     Red-eyed Vireo

62.     Blue Jay

63.     American Crow

64.     Common Raven

65.     Tree Swallow

66.     Barn Swallow

67.     Black-capped Chickadee

68.     Boreal Chickadee

69.     Red-breasted Nuthatch

70.     Carolina Wren

71.     Winter Wren

72.     Golden-crowned Kinglet

73.     Eastern Bluebird

74.     American Robin

75.     Gray Catbird

76.     European Starling

77.     Cedar Waxwing

78.     Northern Parula

79.     Yellow Warbler

80.     Chestnut-sided Warbler

81.     Magnolia Warbler

82.     Yellow-rumped Warbler

83.     Black-throated Green Warbler

84.     Black-and-white Warbler

85.     American Redstart

86.     Mourning Warbler

87.     Common Yellowthroat

88.     Chipping Sparrow

89.     Savannah Sparrow

90.     Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow

91.     Song Sparrow

92.     White-throated Sparrow

93.     Dark-eyed Junco

94.     Northern Cardinal

95.     Red-winged Blackbird

96.     American Goldfinch


---Mike Hebb as related to Malcom Moore, Marlboro, VT



Please share your birding news with us.

Any new migrants or nesters?

What have you seen while on a trip?


Al Merritt



Thursday, August 22, 2013

{BIRD NOTES} ~ August 22, 2013

Bird Notes



Shovelers on the Connecticut River  8/21

There was a nice flock of 6 Northern Shovelers on the river at Hinsdale/Vernon.

---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT


Photo by Blake


Black-crowned Night Heron in Putney  8/20

There was a Black-crowned Night Heron at Wilsons Wetlands on Sandhill Rd in Putney at 6:30pm last night.  First time I have seen one there.  It was perched about 20ft up in a dead tree across the pond enjoying the sunset!   

---Marilyn Tillinghast



Retreat Meadows 8/21

There were quite a few small sandpipers moving about the water’s edge in the sparse grass of the farthest sandbar.  Least??  High in a vine-covered treetop sat a mature Bald Eagle facing away to the west appearing to be watching the traffic pass by on Rt. 30.



Nighthawk Migration

8/19  Westminster Station:  21

8/20  Keene:  150

8/21  Westminster Station: 10




Abbott Rd., W. Brattleboro

At the Gateway Farm many, many Barn Swallows could be seen sitting on the overhead power lines while a myriad of Crows walked over the newly mown field searching out delicacies that suit their taste.  Further down the road a Belted Kingfisher was clinging to a downed fir tree that leans into Ray’s Pond. At the Abbott Rd./Ames Hill Rd. intersection, a Great Blue Heron took to the air from the shoreline of the fire pond.





BIG Bear at the “Crossing” in West B.

He’s baaaaack!

An adult bear sauntered out of the hemlock bushes and into our backyard, then stopped and sat down to scratch an itch. Having had enough of that, I clapped my hands several times and it took off in a gallop up the hill and into the thickly wooded area beyond. This took place at 4:15 pm. So, if you live on or near Greenleaf Street in West Brattleboro be aware that there is a BIG one around and about.



eBird in the New York Times

An avid bird-watcher, is part of eBird, the global ornithological network.

Click here:  Crowdsourcing, for the Birds -





Please share your sightings with us.

Any new migrants or nesters?

What have you seen while on a trip?


Al Merritt




Monday, August 19, 2013

{BIRD NOTES} ~ August 19, 2013

Bird Notes


Giant Swallowtail by Steve & Laurie Medved


Hi Al,  I believe that this is a Giant Swallowtail that's visiting our Zinnias. We had one last year, but didn't get a photo.

---Steve and Laurie Medved.


Nighthawks Migration at Westminster Station

It's that time of year again.

Had a few Nighthawks pass over Westminster Station count site last night 8/15.

8/16  43 birds.

8/17  54 birds.

8/18  78 birds in 2 hr. watch.

---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


Great Birding at Heldene Monthly Birdwalk
What a day for a birdwalk! 16 people attended our monthly walk around Hildene this afternoon, and with food plenty available, birds did not disappoint.  Lots of fledglings, impressive numbers of Common Yellowthroat (likely undercounted), Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, and a "lively" exchange trying to ID the female Purple Finch... great fun! Northern Parula was a nice find too.    Highlight on the observation platform for the last 3 birders... not only seeing 2 Virginia Rails, but seeing 2 very young chicks as well!  Black puff balls on black mud.  See list of 42 species below:
---Barbara Powers

Ruffed Grouse 1
American Bittern 1
Great Blue Heron 1
Virginia Rail 4   (2 adults, 2 young chicks)
Chimney Swift 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 5
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 5
Least Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 3
Eastern Kingbird 3
Red-eyed Vireo 7
Blue Jay 10
American Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 6
Tufted Titmouse 3
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 6
Eastern Bluebird 2
American Robin 24
Gray Catbird 8
Cedar Waxwing 10
Ovenbird 1
Black-and-white Warbler 1
Common Yellowthroat 10
American Redstart 2
Northern Parula 2
Yellow Warbler 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 9
Song Sparrow 5
Swamp Sparrow 3
Scarlet Tanager 5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 12
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Purple Finch 1
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 10

Good Birding at Plum Island, MA

Coastal birding doesn’t get much better than this:

The CURLEW SANDPIPER discovered at the Parker River Refuge at Plum Island a week ago was last seen on Monday.


Other reports from the refuge this week included:




Please share your birding news with us.

Any new migrants or nesters?

What have you seen while on a trip?


Al Merritt


The Blue Jay, Just for Fun

A Blue Jay applied for the receptionist’s job at the new AT&T headquarters.  The interviewer, a bit annoyed, told the Jay that the candidate had to be able to type at least 80 words per minute. The Jay demonstrated proficiency with a 120 wpm.  Not wanting to hire a BIRD for the job, the interviewer told the Jay that the candidate had to be able to take dictation.  The Jay surpassed all of the other candidates with both speed and accuracy. Finally the interviewer thought he’d be able to get rid of the Jay with “the candidate must be bilingual!”  The Jay replied “Meow!!”

---New York State Ornithological Association