Sightings listed for the Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society

Monday, August 10, 2015

{BIRD NOTES} ~ August 10, 2015

Bird Notes



I recently saw a male Scarlet Tanager by Mann Road in Wilmington and another just off VT 100 in Wardsboro later in the week.  I didn't realize there was an effort to locate whip-poor-wills so had not reported that in June I heard a Whip-poor-will here in west Wardsboro one evening only.  Had not heard one since the 1950s so was too excited to remember to share.  Went on for quite a while as they do, but then heard no more.

---Jeremy Schrauf, West Wardsboro 


I saw a female Common Merganser with 7 young ones on the West River. They went down the side, under the covered bridge in Dummerston then spread out to fish in the deeper water downstream.

---Kevin O’Keefe


Red-shouldered Hawks at Home

Meanwhile back at Chipmunk Crossing, a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks were busy with their two youngsters. Our niece and nephew were visiting us and they could hear the squeaks and squawks of the hawks high in the tallest tree of the pine grove that is at the edge of our yard and parking area.  My hearing is terrible and couldn’t hear the bird talk. They must be nesting there because each day after that Barb’s keen hearing picked up the daily chatter. One morning we arose and looked out the window to find the two immatures jumping around in the grass and playfully tossing a flattened road kill (Squirrel or whatever) . We wondered if they had fallen out of their nest but soon had the answer when they both took to the air and flew down the hill above the driveway.

          The following morning the twins were sunning themselves and plucking downy feathers from their breast as they perched on the highest dead branch of a cottonwood tree at the top of our side hill. That turned out to be their favorite spot and we observed them several times sitting in the sun preening.  We caught a glimpse of them a couple of times circling overhead with one of the parents. Part of their flight training we were sure. Now they have left us and are probably still getting instructions from Mom and Pop preparing them for that long fall migration.


The swallows are starting to gather on the wires along Abbott Road.. We counted 16 Barn Swallows and 2 CLIFF SWALLOWS. (We have never seen Cliff Swallows there)


We often stop and check out Ray’s Pond along Abbott Road in W. Brattleboro.  It is a tranquil little body of water, very shallow and shady without too much bird activity, though we have had on occasion Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue Heron, Green-wing Teal, Common Merganser with young and Lesser Yellow Legs. The last stop we made there produced a family of 4 Otters playing as only Otters can do. Heads up, heads down, bellies up, hind ends up, rolling upside down etc. etc.  It was so much fun to watch as they chased after each other across the placid water. They are so full of energy.


On July 22 we had a small group of birds show up in and over our yard:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak (F)

Yellow-throated Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Empidonax Flycatcher (It never called)



Common Yellowthroat (M)

Bay-breasted or Blackpoll Warbler??? (Hard to identify in Fall plumage)

Indigo Bunting (M & F)

White-breasted Nuthatch (M & F)

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker (2 males)

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (M & F)

Cardinal (M & F)

Black and White Warbler (M & F)

Black-capped Chickadee (several)

Blue Jay (5)

Mourning Dove (4)

Tufted Titmouse (2)

Turkey Vulture


Song Sparrow (imm.)

Red-shouldered Hawk (2 imm and a parent bird)

Tree Swallow


Last but not least, by a long shot, has been the sudden appearance of a large Black Bear that sauntered into the yard late one morning. It was slowly walking with nose slightly tilted upward as if sniffing for food. That proved to be true because it walked directly to a spot beneath the willow bush where we sparingly sprinkle a few seeds on a small piece of plywood for our local, common bird species. It licked the board clean and left the yard. Today a different smaller bear stopped by with nose in the air, but turned and left almost immediately when its sniffing did not pick up any food scent because the cupboard was bare.  This is the first time in the 30+ years that we have lived here that we have encountered a Black Bear in our yard during the months of July and August.


Baltimore Oriole © Dan Mosheim

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 can all enjoy reading about your birds and birding




Al Merritt


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