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October 2018


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Sat, 13 Oct 2018 01:57:10 +0000
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Mike Resch <[log in to unmask]>
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Today was my annual fall birding trip to Brattleboro and Vernon, especially focused on sparrows and late warblers.  As I posted earlier, I found a female-plumaged Blue Grosbeak at the Brattleboro ski jump on Cedar Street.  The bird was seen at numerous locations around the base of the ski jump and adjacent clearing, often associating with Song Sparrows.  My description from the eBird checklist is provided below -  First seen flying overhead - as I watched it in flight I initially thought it was a very large sparrow.  I then watched it land in a tree some 50 yards away, facing me.  I could see that it was a large chunky finch, uniformly chestnut-brown below, with a large gray bill.  I could also hear it giving it's loud/sharp "chink" call.  I quickly thought it was a Blue Grosbeak though it was distant.  It then flew to the other end of the clearing.  A minute later I arrived where it landed and played some tape of Blue Grosbeak call notes.  Within a few seconds it popped out into the open giving much better views and calling just 25 ft away.  Now I saw all the field marks over the next couple minutes - chunky body, uniformly chestnut brown above and below and head, very large gray beak, and bright reddish wing-bar.  It then flew over to the fencing near the base of the ski jump.  Later I re-found it perched on the fence, taking these record shots [attached to the eBird checklist].  Notice how much bigger it is compared to the nearby Song Sparrows.  Then Dave Johnston arrived and saw the bird as well. Here's a link to the checklist - https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S49148188 I also birded the fields around the Brattleboro Marina, Brattleboro Retreat Meadows, Miller Farm field substation area, and the Stebbins Rd. stump dump.  Other notable birds were a late Magnolia Warbler at the ski jump, and a late Indigo Bunting at the marina. As for sparrows - had 8 species with largest numbers around the perimeter of the cornfield at the Brattleboro Marina.  Totals for the day - Song - 171White-throated - 118Savannah - 99Swamp - 32White-crowned - 15Lincoln's - 8Chipping - 2Field - 2  Mike Reschwww.statebirding.blogspot.comPepperell, MA