This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, November 7, 2003, covering the
period October 31.- November 6.
Unlike neighboring New Hampshire, which boasted a Couch's/Tropical Kingbird,
Bell's Vireo and Black-headed Grosbeak, no noteworthy vagrants were reported
from Vermont during the past week. However, Lake Champlain yielded a
smattering of late season rarities, and waterfowl continued to be well
Loons continue to be found in surprisingly small numbers, with Lake Champlain
maximum counts of only 6-7 COMMON LOONS off North Hero on Nov. 1 and 10+ off
Charlotte Town Beach on the 5th. "Inland" lakes with the species still
included Hardwick Lake (2 birds on Nov. 1), Thurman Dix Reservoir in Barre (1
bird on Nov. 1), and Berlin Pond (2 birds on Nov. 2). All three grebe species
were reported, with single high counts of 6 HORNED GREBES off Shelburne Beach
on Nov. 1, ~ 15 RED-NECKED GREBES between Panton and Charlotte on the 2nd, and
2 PIED-BILLED GREBES at Dead Creek Wildlife management Area (DCWMA) on Nov. 1.
Undoubtedly the week's most notable bird was an immature NORTHERN GANNET
south on Lake Champlain off Charlotte on 6 Nov.
Lingering GREAT BLUE HERONS were reported at Shelburne Beach and DCWMA (2
birds) on Nov. 1, Quechee on the 3rd, and Rochester on Nov. 6.
A late TURKEY VULTURE was observed at Shelburne Beach on Nov. 1.
Geese continue to be abundant statewide. Away from DCWMA, where the species
was noted but no numbers reported, CANADA GEESE were observed at Thurman Dix
Reservoir on Nov. 1 (~200 birds), Berlin Pond on Nov. 2 (64 birds), and Lake
Pinneo on Nov. 6 (110 birds). SNOW GEESE numbers remained in the
DCWMA, and 85 birds were found on Lake Pinneo in Quechee on Nov. 3. Four
GEESE (1 adult, 3 immatures) were identified at the DCWMA viewing area on the
2nd, and 6 BRANT were found there on Nov. 6.
Dabbling duck numbers appear to be dropping, while diving ducks continue to
make a good showing. A single RING-NECKED DUCK on Berlin Pond on Nov 2 was,
surprisingly, the only Aythya species reported statewide. The fall's
scoter flight may be tailing off, but 40 BLACK SCOTERS were found on South Bay
in Newport on Nov 1, and 2 birds on Berlin Pond the next day were joined by 8
WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS. Undetermined numbers of both species were reported
Lake Champlain on the 5th. BUFFLEHEAD were widespread, with 25 at the
Charlotte Ferry on Nov. 1, 8 birds on Berlin Pond Nov. 2, and 5 in both East
Dorset on the 2nd and in Quechee on the 3rd. Five COMMON GOLDENEYES off
Shelburne Beach on Nov. 1 and 2 birds on Berlin Pond on the 2nd were the only
individuals of this species reported. Very rare in Vermont was a reported
flock of 20 COMMON EIDERS off Charlotte Town Beach on Nov. 5. HOODED
reports included 8 birds at Berlin Pond on Nov. 2. Three RUDDY DUCKS were
found south of McCuen Slang at Willow Pt. off Rt. 125 on Nov 5, and a single
bird was on Lake Pinneo in Quechee on the 6th.
Among raptors, the highlight had to be an immature GOLDEN EAGLE reported from
New Haven on Nov. 5. Other raptors included 2 NORTHERN HARRIERS at DCWMA on
Nov. 1 and a single bird in Norwich on the 4th, single COOPER'S HAWKS in
Bennington and Woodstock on Nov. 3, and single ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS at DCWMA and
in Newport on the 1st. A remarkable tally of 70 RED-TAILED HAWKS was observed
moving southward down Lake Champlain in Charlotte on Nov. 6. Tardy AMERICAN
KESTRELS were reported from Colchester on Nov. 1 and Rochester on Nov. 6.
Unusual at any time of year was a female NORTHERN BOBWHITE in Shelburne on
Late transient shorebirds included 20 GREATER YELLOWLEGS at DCWMA on Nov. 1, 2
birds in Quechee on Nov. 2, and 3 birds at the Pompy flats in Thetford on the
3rd. A HUDSONIAN GODWIT was reported from Charlotte during mid-week, as were
91 DUNLIN and 6 PURPLE SANDPIPERS. Other reports included 3 DUNLIN at
Nov. 2, 6 RED KNOTS and 2 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS at Pompy flats in Thetford on
Nov. 3, and a WILSON'S SNIPE in Morrisville on Nov. 6.
No unusual gulls were reported this week, although BONAPARTE's GULLS away from
Lake Champlain were observed at Berlin Pond on Nov. 2 (2 birds) and Lake
in Quechee on the 3rd (1 bird).
Among passerines, no rarities on the scale of NH's recent influx were
reported. The fall's first NORTHEN SHRIKE appeared in No. Ferrisburg on Nov.
1. A WINTER WREN was observed in Thetford on the 4th, along with 4
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, which were also in Quechee (1 bird) on Nov. 3 and
Morrisville (2 birds) on Nov. 6. AMERICAN ROBINS continue to be widespread,
with maximum counts of 19 in Thetford and 40+ in Norwich on Nov. 4. The only
warbler reported was YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, with single birds in Thetford on
Nov. 4, Quechee on Nov. 6, and 2 at VINS in Woodstock on the 5th. Sparrow
diversity continues to be high, with 10 species reported during the week.
Highlights included a mixed group in Woodstock on Nov. 6 that featured 1
CHIPPING SPARROW, 1 SAVANNAH SPARROW, 3 SONG SPARROWS, 1 WHITE-THROATED
SPARROW, and 7 WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. The latter two species were reported
from several locations statewide, and lingering FOX SPARROWS were in Shelburne
on Nov. 2 and Thetford on the 4th. AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS arrived en masse
over the weekend, with many observers reporting their first encounters of the
season. The maximum single flock contained 30 birds in Quechee on Nov. 2, and
20 were counted in Thetford on the 4th.
Small flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS are becoming more common, with reports of 5 in
Colchester Nov 1, 20 at DCWMA's Brilyea access on Nov. 2, and 2 flocks of
in Norwich on the 4th.
Mixed flocks of >200 blackbirds are still common in the Champlain Valley,
RUSTY BLACKBIRDS were reported at the Charlotte Ferry on Nov. 1. An EASTERN
MEADOWLARK was observed in Norwich on Nov. 4.
Boreal finches are showing possible signs of a modest flight. Five PINE
SISKINS were observed in Quechee on Nov. 3, and scattered reports of small
EVENING GROSBEAK flocks included 6 in So. Burlington on Nov. 2, a flock of
unreported size in Duxbury Nov. 5, and 4 in Williston and 8 in Morrisville Nov
6. PURPLE FINCHES continue to be reported from feeders. This weekend's
impending blast of Arctic air may bring additional arrivals.
Thanks to the following contributors whose observations are cited above:
Michael Cosgrove, Bonnie Dundas, E. J. Elithorpe, Spencer and Doug Hardy,
Haugh, Peter Jones, John Lunde, Sherry Mahady, Linda McElvany, Kent McFarland,
Ted Murin, Chris Rimmer, Bill Shepard, Mary Spencer , Allan Strong, Joan
Thompson, Sue Wetmore.
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