This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, September 19, 2003, covering the
period September 12-18. This report updates one previously submitted today,
incorporating several new records. We apologize for any confusion this may
cause (some of us at VINS are still on the steep part of the RBA reporting
The past week was fairly quiet, with no pronounced influxes of migrant
shorebirds or passerines. In fact, shorebird reports were relatively few, as
the past two weeks' excellent diversity dropped, with many migrants apparently
having departed the Champlain Valley. Raptors provided the most conspicuous
evidence of southward migration.
Two hawkwatches on Mt. Philo demonstrated how dramatically migration can
in a short timespan. During a two-hour watch on Sep. 13, 17 BROAD-WINGED
were counted, while four days later, 1,222 individuals were tallied. Other
species reported from Mt. Philo on these two dates were OSPREY (4 on 9/11,
9/17), BALD EAGLE (1 on 9/17), NORTHERN HARRIER (1 on 9/13, 2 on 9/17),
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (1 on 9/13, 17 on 9/17), COOPER'S HAWK (3 on both 9/13 and
9/17), RED-TAILED HAWK (4 on 9/13, 1 on 9/17), and AMERICAN KESTREL (5 on
9/17). Notable raptors reported from Mt. mansfield on Sep. 11 included 1
NORTHERN HARRIER, 5 AMERICAN KESTRELS, and 1 MERLIN.
Early for fall on Lake Champlain were 3 HORNED GREBES off the west shore of
Grand Isle on Sep. 17. Also reported in this area were 5 SCAUP SP.
be LESSER SCAUP) on the 18th.
At Lake Bomoseen in Hubbardton on Sep. 12, highlights included 3 PIED-BILLED
GREBES, 9 GREAT BLUE HERONS, 94 WOOD DUCKS, 2 GADWALL, and 1 COMMON MOORHEN.
At nearby Love Marsh in Castleton on this date were another 28 WOOD DUCKS.
Solitary GREAT EGRETS were observed on the Winooski River on the
Williston/South Burlington line on Sep. 13 and in Weathersfield on the 14th,
while 4 were at Dead Creek WMA on Sep. 16. Also reported from the
Weathersfield area on Sep. 14 were an undetermined number of Bufflehead, a
early date for this species in VT.
Shorebird reports included 5 BLACK-BELLIED PLOVERS at Delta Park on Sep. 16
a single bird in Grand Isle on the 18th. On Young Island off Grand Isle on
Sep. 11, 8 RUDDY TURNSTONES and 1 SANDERLING were observed. At the "Dead
dam" (Brilyea?) on Sep. 13, the following were reported: a juvenile male
PEREGRINE FALCON stooping 4 times and finally capturing a SEMIPALMATED
SANDPIPER (one of 30+ obesrved), 30+ juvenile LESSER YELLOWLEGS, 3 GREATER
YELLOWLEGS, 1 LEAST SANDPIPER, 2 KILLDEER, 1 COMMON SNIPE, 1 definite
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER and 5 Dowitcher sp. fly-bys. The only larid reports
were of 5 CASPIAN TERNS (one group of 4 and a lone bird) moving southward
Lake Champlain at Charlotte Town Beach on Sep. 17, and a single bird at
Herrick's Cove on Sep. 11.
RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRDS continue to linger, with Sep. 13 reports from
Lincoln, Waitsfield and Williston and a feeder bird in Georgia on Sep. 17. An
unidentified hummingbird sp. was reported from Grand Isle on Sep. 18, but no
details were submitted suggesting that it might have been a vagrant species.
Passerine migration continues to be unremarkable, with some breeding residents
apparently still on territories. Reports of singing birds during the past
included YELLOW-THROATED VIREO (3) and WARBLING VIREO (2) at Lake Bomoseen on
Sep. 12, and single EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE and RED-EYED VIREO in Norwich on Sep.
18. A RUSTY BLACKBIRD at the south end of Berlin Pond on Sep. 13 may have
the week's most unusual bird, mainly because of its early date outside the
species' known VT breeding range. Probable migrant warblers included 3
CHESTNUT-SIDED and 6 MAGNOLIA WARBLERS at Union Village Dam in Thetford on
15. In S. Duxbury on the 15th, 1 MAGNOLIA, 3 BLACK-THROATED BLUE, and 2
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLERS were observed. Across the Connecticut River in Hanover,
also on Sep. 15, a CAPE MAY WARBLER and PRAIRIE WARBLERS were almost certainly
transients, as was a NORTHERN PARULA at Delta Park in Winooski on Sep. 16. An
early LINCOLN'S SPARROW was reported from S. Duxbury on the 15th.
Thanks to the following contributors whose observations are cited above: Liz
Alton, Jean Arrowsmith, Pat Folsom, Doug Gill, David Hoag, Linda McElvany, Al
Merritt, Silas Miller, Katherine Olgiati, Mike Palombo, Roy Pilcher, Bryan
Pfeiffer, Frederick and Chris Pratt, Dory Rice, Chris Rimmer, Carl Runge, Bill
Shepard, Stefan Sturup, Julia Wright.
This message is also available by phone recording: call 802-457-1053 and press
3. This will put you into a menu where you will be directed to press 5 to
the RBA. If you have any interesting birds to report, you can leave a message
by pressing 6, or you can 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