This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, November 14, 2003.
The blustery cold front that came through yesterday has thus far produced
no new reports of migrants, but it's too early to determine whether this
reflects a drop in migration activity or whether sightings have yet to be
reported. There very well may be sightings yet to come, but we still may
expect to see some dramatic shifts in bird reports.
There were still plenty of sightings during the past week, before the front
SNOW GEESE could still be viewed at Dead Creek, and reports of them came in
from Nov. 9th and the 12th. However, the days before their departure are
likely numbered. About 1,000 of them passed over Brigham Hill in Essex on
the 8th, and another 100 on the 9th.
The rare bird sighting of the week is the 4 TUNDRA SWANS on the Retreat
Meadows in Brattleboro on Nov. 12th. They continued on their way south,
however, by midday on the 13th.
A few scattered reports of GREAT BLUE HERON came in this week, although we
expect these “stragglers” to be headed to warmer climes very soon, if they
haven’t left already with the latest front.
MERGANSERS and BUFFLEHEAD were by far the most commonly reported species
this week. Hundreds of HOODED and COMMON MERGANSER were seen on Colchester
Pond on the 9th, and there were several at the Brattleboro Retreat Meadows
on the 11th. HOODED MERGANSERS were seen on Berlin Pond, Lefferts Pond,
and in the Champlain Valley; and COMMON MERGANSERS were sighted on the
Connecticut River in Brattleboro and on Benedict Pond in East Dorset.
BUFFLEHEAD were found on Chittenden Reservoir, Colchester Pond, Berlin
Pond, Miller Pond in Arlington, Hapgood Pond in Peru, and on Benedict Pond
in East Dorset.
Other waterfowl sightings in the last week include 50 CANADA GEESE, 2
AMERICAN WIGEON, a LONG-TAILED DUCK, 25 RING-NECKED DUCK, and 2 HORNED
GREBE on Colchester Pond on the 9th. Species seen in the Champlain Valley
on the 12th included 84 COMMON LOON, 4 RED-NECKED GREBE, 1 PIED-BILLED
GREBE, 30 MALLARD, 7 SCAUP SPP., and 1 LONG-TAILED DUCK. On the 7th a
WHITE-WINGED SCOTER was seen on Hapgood Pond in Peru. On the 9th, sightings
at both the Cersosimo Setback on the Connecticut River in Brattleboro and
Berlin Pond included a few COMMON GOLDENEYE and RING-NECKED DUCK. Two male
LONG-TAILED DUCK and 93 MALLARD were also seen at Berlin Pond that day.
ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS have become “regulars” at Dead Creek now, and a few
SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS were seen on the 9th. In addition to a report of 40
RED-TAILED HAWKS riding the north winds over Brigham Hill on the morning of
the 8th (only 1 on the 9th), there have been scattered sightings of
individuals, especially in the Champlain Valley. Reports of NORTHERN
HARRIER and AMERICAN KESTREL have also come from the Champlain Valley.
Shorebirds were notably absent in this week’s report, perhaps we have seen
the last of them for the season. A single BONAPARTE’S GULL was seen at the
Brattleboro Retreat Meadows on Nov. 11.
The only report of a BELTED KINGFISHER came from the Cersosimo Setback on
the Connecticut River in Brattleboro. The second and third reports of
NORTHERN SHRIKE of the season came from Route 73 in Rochester on the 9th
and in Essex on the 10th.
AMERICAN CROWS have been on the move. At least 2,000 were seen passing
silently over buildings in Montpelier on the 7th, and several were also
seen from Brigham Hill on the 8th. A NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD was found in the
Champlain Valley on the 12th.
Typical for this time of year, HORNED LARK were seen in Champlain valley on
the 12th. AMERICAN PIPIT are usually moving through this time of year,
frequently seen at Dead Creek and other parts of Addison county (and
several reports of them have come in over the last few weeks). This species
has also been seen in other parts of the state in the past few weeks, with
the most recent sighting at the Pompy manure piles.
Any reports of WARBLERS at this point are likely to be rare latecomers, and
there were no sightings reported this week.
NORTH AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS and FOX SPARROWS are being reported regularly
throughout the state, as well as scattered sightings of WHITE-THROATED
SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.
Flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS continue to be found throughout the state, the
largest (50) seen in Middlesex on the 10th.
A male RED-WING BLACKBIRD was reported still hanging out at a feeder in
Charlotte on the 10th, and the out-of-season bird of the week was a
BALTIMORE ORIOLE at a feeder in South Newfane on the afternoon of the 10th.
It will be interesting to see what species came through, and what species
disappeared, with the latest blast of artic air!
Thanks to the following contributors whose observations are cited above:
Linda Becker, Chip Darmstadt, Bonnie Dundas, Robert Gerety, Betty Gilbert,
Spencer and Doug Hardy, Larry Haugh, Holly Hungerford, Al Merritt, Julie
Nicholson, Chris Petrak, Barbara Powers, Rick Renaud, Frank Rounds, Ruth
Stewart, John Sutton, Mary Young, and Ian Worley.
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
hear the RBA. If you have any interesting birds to report, you can leave a
by pressing 6, or you can send your sightings to the RBA via e-mail at:
[log in to unmask]
Roz Renfrew, Chris Rimmer, Kent McFarland
VT RBA Compilers
Director, VT Breeding Bird Atlas
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
27023 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT 05091
802-457-1053 ext. 127