This is a summary of Vermont bird reports for Friday, August 15, 2003,
the past week.
The recent prolonged stretch of wet, warm weather with southerly air flow
to have kept southward migration to a minimum. Reports of migrant shorebirds
have been very few, mainly because water levels are high everywhere, and most
landbirds have not yet left their breeding grounds. Those that do remain are
molting and generally quiet.
The BLACK-HEADED GULL reported on last week's RBA from Noblewood Park in
Willsboro, NY (the other side of Lake Champlain) was seen again on Aug. 10th
and 11th, but not since. Replacing it at the site, however, was a
second-winter LITTLE GULL on Aug. 14, along with > 1000 BONAPARTE'S GULLS.
Birders on the Vermont side of northern Champlain should be watchful for
of these two rarities.
COMMON TERNS are now staging on Lake Champlain, in preparation for fall
migration. The two main nesting islands, Popasquash and Rock, both off
Georgia-St. Albans, are still active, with 80 and 30 birds, respectively on
Aug. 11. Other birds are scattered about islands in the Inland Sea, and a
number of unbanded juveniles indicate that birds from colonies outside
Champlain are moving onto the Lake. Most of these are likely from the St.
Lawrence River. About 65 terns (presumably all Common) were observed roosting
on partially submerged trees at the mouth of the Winooski River on the 11th.
Five CASPIAN TERNS mixed in with 30 Commons and some Bonaparte's Gulls at Hen
Island on the 11th provided a nice treat.
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are numerous as always on Lake Champlain in late
summer, after dispersing from their breeding colonies. One observer on the NY
side of the Lake across from Basin Harbor reported ~1500 birds flying north
during the evening of Aug. 9.
Single PIED-BILLED GREBES and GREAT EGRETS were seen in the borrow ditches on
the east side of Rt. 127 in Winooski on the 11th.
Migrant shorebird reports included a SOLITARY SANDPIPER at Dead Creek's
Access on Aug. 9 (but no indications of lowering water levels). Two LEAST
SANPIPERS were seen at both Popasquash and Rocks islands on Lake Champlain on
the 11th. A single RUDDY TURNSTONE was also observed on Popasquash that day.
A monthy waterbird survey at Lake Bomossen in Hubbardton on Aug. 11 yielded 7
GREAT BLUE HERONS, 35 CANADA GEESE, 9 MALLARDS, 8 BLACK DUCKS, 41 WOOD DUCKS,
and 1 BELTED KINGFISHER.
The only definite migrant landbird reported was a YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER at
Delta Park in Winooski on Aug. 11. However, TREE SWALLOWS congregating on
power lines at Lake Bomossen in Hubbardton on the 11th were harbingers of fall
migration. Other passerines reported were most likely locals. These included
single BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS at Delta Park and at Lake Bomossen, both on the
11th. A BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER was also seen at Bomossen that day. The
following warbler assortment was reported from Ward Hill in So. Duxbury on
8: NASHVILLE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED GREEN
WARBLER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, AMERICAN REDSTART, and
COMMON YELOWTHROAT. In Norwich, the only resident songbirds still in full
voice during the past week were EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE, HERMIT THRUSH, and
For those interested in the status of Vermont's Peregrine Falcon population,
the following 2003 summary is courtsey of Margaret Fowle, NWF's Peregrine
biologist. Vermont's breeding population continues to eclipse other New
England states in size and productivity. Its recovery from a DDT-induced
30-year extirpation appears complete, as 29 territorial pairs were documented
in 2003, with 24 of these attempting to nest. Sixteen pairs were
fledging at least one chick, and 39 chicks survived to fledging. Although
2003 was the first season since 1984 that Vermont's population decreased (30
pairs and 40 fledglings in 2002), the overall picture continues to be very
encouraging. Three pairs occupied new territories in 2003: at Crystal Lake
(Barton), Hawk Rock (Newport), and Mt. Belvidere Quarry (Lowell). However, 4
established territories from 2002 were not reoccupied this spring: Elephant Mt
(Bristol), Hawkes Mt (Weathersfield), East Bolton Notch (Bolton), and Pond Mt
We thank the following contributors of records during the period: Margaret
Fowle, Mark LaBarr, Matt Medler, Roy Pilcher, Pat and Chris Pratt, Bob and
Slayton, Allan Strong, and Dorothy Tod,
This message is also available by phone recording: call 802-457-1053 and press
6 as directed. If you have seen any interesting birds recently, you can
message by pressing 5 or send your sightings to the RBA via e-mail at:
[log in to unmask]
Chris Rimmer, Kent McFarland, Roz Renfrew
VT RBA Compilers
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
27023 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT 05091
802-457-2779 ext 120