This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, Dec. 5, 2003, covering the
period from Sunday November 30 through Friday Dec 5 (with a few earlier
sightings from Thanksgiving, reported late).
This (short) week brought a smattering of sightings of late migrants,
winter residents, and one very interesting bird....
A first-year ATLANTIC PUFFIN was spotted at the Burlington waterfront near
the public boathouse on Thanksgiving Day. It was diving for fish on the
north side of the boathouse, between it and the Coast Guard boathouse. This
is only the second record of this species in Vermont! The first record was
a sighting in Rutland, reported in a newspaper article in 1960.
On Nov. 30th 31 RED-THROATED LOONS were headed south, right over Lake
Champlain in Charlotte. They were fighting a strong south wind, which
slowed them down enough for a great look!
The only report of a GREAT BLUE HERON came from Warren on Thanksgiving Day,
the bird was flying along the Mad River.
Waterbirds can still be seen along Lake Chaplain, although numbers are
dwindling. At Shelburne Bay Access on Nov 30, sightings included 2 HORNED
GREBES AND 2 COMMON MERGANSERS. On Dec 3, a trip south along the lake from
the bridge to Button Bay produced 6 COMMON LOON, 2 LONG-TAILED DUCK, 1 BALD
EAGLE, a huge flock of COMMON GOLDENEYE, 1 HOODED MERGANSER, HORNED GREBES,
and COMMON MERGANSERS.
Reports of raptors all came from Grand Isle. A late TURKEY VULTURE was seen
on Dec 4, a GOSHAWK on Dec 3, and an AMERICAN KESTREL was seen on Nov 30.
WILD TURKEY survivors were out in numbers in Shelburne on Nov 30. A flock
of 53 were seen east of Greenbush Road across from Shelburne Orchards, and
three small flocks totaling 39 birds were seen along the short stretch of
road between Shelburne Bay access area and Harbor Road. There was also
another flock in the distance near Wake Robin.
The first SNOWY OWL sighting of the season came from Inferno Road in Warren
on Thanksgiving Day, but no sightings have been reported since. An expired
LONG-EARED OWL was found on Rte 2 in South Hero. These are fairly rare in
Vermont, and the atlas may provide more (preferably, alive) sightings.
Some late migrants were seen at feeders in the last week. A juvenile
NORTHERN FLICKER was feeding voraciously in Rochester on Nov. 29. An
immature BALTIMORE ORIOLE was seen on Nov. 26th eating frozen apples in
Shaftsbury. Hopefully by now, this bird has moved on to warmer climes! As
of the 30th CAROLINA WRENS were still visiting Bennington feeders. A
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was reported on Dec 1 from both Woodstock and
COMMON REDPOLLS were seen in Brookfield, PINE GROSBEAKS were reported from
Somerset Reservoir, and EVENING GROSBEAKS were reported from Proctor. There
are undoubtedly unreported sightings of these winter residents elsewhere in
Thanks to the following contributors whose observations were cited above:
Ken Copenhaver, Bonnie Dundas, Paula Gills, James Groom, Kevin Hemeon, Dave
Hoag, Ann Hunter, Chris Rimmer, Ted Murin, Michele Patenaude, Roy Pilcher,
Rob Scott, Kathleen Upton, and 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 hear 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] Or enter your sightings on Vermont eBird
Roz Renfrew, Chris Rimmer, Kent McFarland
VT RBA Compilers
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Conservation Biology Department
27023 Church Hill Rd.
Woodstock, VT 05091