Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, October 14, 2013

{BIRD NOTES} ~ October 14, 2013

Bird Notes



Common Tern at Herrick’s Cove (10/6)

A late Common Tern was flying around Herrick’s Cove, in Rockingham, this morning calling as it passed over the duck hunters.
---Don Clark, Grafton, VT


The Common tern was still flying around the cove this morning. (10/8) Also there was a  late Black-throated Green Warbler. 
---JoAnne Russo, Saxtons River, VT


Birds at the Miller Farm, Vernon, VT (10/11)
Late this morning there was a Vesper Sparrow with a handful Savannah Sparrows at Miller Farm fields, Vernon. It was perched on the north side of the 'Yankee' fence but feeding in the Miller farm fields with American Pipits just west of the Connecticut River. (See more complete list below)

---James P. Smith, Gill, MA


Vesper Sparrow photo by James Smith

More Miller Farm Sightings
Canada Goose  135
Turkey Vulture  3
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Killdeer  7

Rock Pigeon  16
Mourning Dove  3
Belted Kingfisher  1
Eastern Phoebe  2
Blue Jay  3
Eastern Bluebird  3
Gray Catbird  1
European Starling  25
American Pipit  45
Palm Warbler  3     

Vesper Sparrow  1     
Savannah Sparrow  13
Song Sparrow  3
Swamp Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  2
White-crowned Sparrow  7 
(All first-winter birds)

Red-winged Blackbird  15
House Finch  5
American Goldfinch  7



Pipits and a possible Taverner’s Cackling Goose (10/12)

At Vernon this morning Dave Johnson and I found a large flock of pipits - we managed to count approximately 120 when they were airborne after being flushed by a kestrel. In the same ploughed field that James Smith had a vesper sparrow in yesterday there was a flock of about 400 Canada geese. Among them was one smaller bird, about 20-25% smaller than the cagos. It was generally darker than the cagos, but the most interesting feature was the head and bill. It did not have the blocky forehead and snub bill of the usual cackling that we get down here (richardsons), but it's small triangular bill and forehead formed a sloping profile, rather reminiscent of a female eider duck. Roman nosed was the descriptor that came to mind. I have looked at some photos that James Smith took of other potential taverners at Turners Falls in October 2011 and the match is identical. Unfortunately we did not get any good photos and so this record should remain a possibility only. If anyone is going, check thru the Canada flocks in the area and keep a watch out for this bird.

---Hector Galbraith, Dummerston, VT


Hildene ~ Lincoln Family Home, Manchester, VT, ~ 10/12/13 - ---Barbara Powers, VT

Just a picture perfect October morning for birding and while it was a slow start, the day warmed up and so did the birding. Sparrow numbers were likely greatly undercounted due to the large wave of birds passing through in the absolutely spectacular grassland habitat that's been created on the north side of the meadows in the old pine forest.


Canada Goose  11
Turkey Vulture  4
Northern Harrier  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  2
Eastern Phoebe  1
Blue Jay  14
American Crow  48
Common Raven  2 (Enjoying the breezes through the valley)
Black-capped Chickadee  9
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Eastern Bluebird  2
American Robin  69
European Starling  6
Cedar Waxwing  4
Magnolia Warbler  2
Palm Warbler  2
Savannah Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  28
White-throated Sparrow  30
White-crowned Sparrow  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  9
Red-winged Blackbird  16
American Goldfinch  9


A NEW Warbler Field Guide

There is a new book published by Princeton University Press called The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle. It could well have been called the Ultimate/Complete Warbler Guide!


I picked it up at Barnes & Noble after seeing an ad for it in some birding magazine.  It is very different from a Sibley or Peterson. It is large for a field guide, but could be carried in the field, 500+ pages, 1000+ photographs, 1000+ sonograms!


The first quarter of the book is general information with a large sonogram tutorial from basics on up [voice files in page-by-page order are an additional online download for $6.00 from Princeton University Press. There are Quick Finders of pages of birds faces only, side views only, 45 degree views from below only, and ventral (as if the bird were directly above) views only, as well as Quick Finders pages of Spring and Fall birds for the East and West and under tail diagnostics.

The rest of the book describes individual species which have up to 12 pages each with photographs showing diagnostic points and numerous images shown exactly the way we struggle to see them in the field - partly hidden, underside only, back only, etc. with 4 Distinctive Views each, ID points, photographs of similar species with good text descriptions and new ID points as well as sonograms compared to similar sounding species.

There is a quiz at the end, with a section on IDing warblers in flight.
A great buy for less than $30.00 for those like me working on improving Warbler ID.  I am glad they emphasize ventral views, under tail color and tail spots, which I have been slowly teaching myself from Jon Dunn's Warbler book.
---Ajit Antony, Cornwall, NY


Vermont stream in October




Please share your birding news with us.

Any new migrants?





Al Merritt




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