This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, April 30, 2004 covering the
period April 23 – 30..
Several unusual bird sightings took place this week in Vermont
.The rarest visitor to the state over the past two weeks is the NORTHERN
WHEATEAR. seen in Georgia on April 23. Not only is it the first spring
sighting, but it is only the 9th time this thrush has been observed in
Vermont. Nine WILLETS were visiting a flooded meadow in West Salisbury on
April 23rd, and a SANDHILL CRANE was observed flying overhead roughly 3
miles from Berlin Pond, in the Montpelier area on April 27. Five RED
CROSSBILLS were seen off Sugartop Road outside of Norwich on April 25th.
A welcome sighting was the return of the COMMON LOON near Grand
Isle on the 18th, off the Causeway on the 23rd, and in Craftsbury Common on
the 28th of April. A PIED-BILLED GREBE was seen on April 19th on Grand
Isle. Two RED-NECKED GREBES were seen on Lake Pinneo in Quechee on April
26th. An AMERICAN BITTERN was sighted at Dead Creek on April 24th. A GREAT
EGRET was observed along the LaPlatte River Marsh Trail on the 22nd of
April, and a GREEN HERON was sighted along the Connecticut River south of
Brattleboro this week. GREAT BLUE HERONS are becoming more numerous, and
CATTLE EGRETS were spotted in Shoreham on the 22nd and 23rd of April, as
well as off Rte. 22A, north of the intersection with Route 74.
There have been numerous bird of prey sightings over the last
two weeks. A BALD EAGLE was seen along Route 7 in the Manchester area on the
20th. NORTHERN HARRIERS were reported at the Brilyea Access of Dead Creek
and at the West Rutland Marsh as well as in Brookline and on Grand Isle on
the 20th. Five SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS were seen along the Connecticut River
south of Brattleboro, and in Middlebury on the April 19, 21, 24 and 29th. A
COOPER’S HAWK was spotted on GRAND ISLE on the 19th, near Lake Pinneo in
Quechee on April 26th, and in Northfield on the 29th of April. A NORTHERN
GOSHAWK was seen in Corinth on the 23rd. A RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was seen in
Brookline on the 24th and in Corinth on the 25th . There have been many
BROAD-WINGED HAWK sightings from many areas in Vermont including Rutland,
Hartland, Leicester, and Huntington. RED-TAILED HAWKS are nesting in
Proctor, and several were spotted in the West Rutland Marsh on the 24th.
Birders in Northfield and Brookline saw MERLINS on the 29th and 24th of
April, respectively. A PEREGRINE FALCON was at the Brilyea Access of Dead
Creek on the 17th of April.
Both the VIRGINIA RAIL and the secretive SORA were observed in
the West Rutland Marsh on the 24th and an AMERICAN COOT was seen in Dead
Creek on this day as well. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER was seen in Salisbury on
April 24th and at North Hartland Lake on the 25th. WILSON’S SNIPE and
AMERICAN WOODCOCK are back in force, having been heard or seen in Grand
Isle, Northfield, Middlebury, Wallingford, Craftsbury Common and Woodstock
this week and last. A sighting of a SHORT-EARED OWL in South Burlington
took place on the 28th.
Passerine migration is well under way. CHIMNEY SWIFTS were
patrolling the skies above Poultney on April 29th. BELTED KINGFISHERS were
reported from the towns of Huntington, Quechee, Burlington and South
Burlington. A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER was seen at Dead Creek (Brilyea
Access) on April 24th. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS have been seen and heard
“morse-coding” in Hartland, Thetford Center, Northfield, Middlebury,
Wallingford, Norwich and Craftsbury Common. BLUE-HEADED VIREOS were seen in
Northfield, East Barnard, Red Rocks Park in South Burlington, Dummerston and
Norwich this week and WARBLING VIREOS were reported in Quechee and in
Northfield. NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS returned to the Ethan Allen
Homestead in Burlington, Grand Isle, Dead Creek (Brilyea Access) on the 24th
(as well as BANK SWALLOWS and hundreds of TREE SWALLOWS), at the North
Hartland Lake on the 26th and Quechee and Burlington on April 30th. BARN
SWALLOWS were seen in Middlebury, Huntington Center and North Ferrisburg.
The first report of (5)BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS came from south of
Brattleboro along the Connecticut River. HERMIT THRUSHES were seen and
heard in Hartland and South Burlington, and a WOOD THRUSH was reported in
Leicester on the 23rd. NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRDS and BROWN THRASHERS were
mimicking in Woodstock, Northfield, Burlington, Middlebury, Wallingford and
Shoreham last week. BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS are still here, and were reported
from Grand Isle on the 18th and Corinth on the 23rd. A LOUISIANA
WATERTHRUSH was singing in Dummerston on the 23rd and a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
was seen in South Burlington on April 29th.
Warblers returned en masse this week. A NASHVILLE WARBLER was
seen in Middlebury on the 23rd of April and in Northfield on the 29th.
AYELLOW WARBLER was sighted in Quechee and in Burlington on April 30th. A
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER was seen in Dummerston this week. YELLOW-RUMPED
WARBLER sightings are still coming in from Quechee and Corinth, and 40-50
were sighted south of Brattleboro along the Connecticut River. A
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER returned to Norwich on the 29th of April. PINE
WARBLERS were spotted on the 18th of April near Lake Shftsbury and in Red
Rocks Park in South Burlington. On April 24th 5-10 PALM WARBLERS were moving
through south of Brattleboro and were also seen in Quechee.
An EASTERN TOWHEE was sighted in Cornwall on April 18th and in
Quechee and Northfield on the 29th. CHIPPING, SONG AND WHITE-THROATED
SPARROW sightings are increasing throughout Vermont. FIELD SPARROWS
returned to Corinth, Brookline, Grand Isle and Corinth this week. SAVANNAH
SPARROWS were welcomed back in Shaftsbury and Brookfield this week and last.
A SWAMP SPARROW was reported in Northfield on the 29th of April.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS were seen and heard in Hartland, Northfield, Fairfax
and Brookline this week. PURPLE AND HOUSE FINCHES were seen in Thetford
Center, Shaftsbury, Montpelier and Norwich last week.
Not only is migration well under way, but so is the nesting
season. The following species have been sighted carrying nesting material:
COMMON GRACKLE, AMERICAN ROBIN and HOUSE FINCH. Actual nesting has been
confirmed for AMERICAN ROBINS, HOUSE FINCHES, AMERICAN WOODCOCK, CAROLINA
WRENS (3 fledglings April 29th on Grand Isle), TREE SWALLOWS and EASTERN
Thanks to the following contributors whose observations were cited above:
Lee Allaben, Linda and Ken Becker, George Clark, Ken Copenhaver, Kevin
Cross, Michael Cosgrove, Susan Elliott, Hector Galbraith, Daria Falk, Paula
Gills, David Hoag, Mary Holland, Pam Hunt, Matt Kemp, Maeve Kim, Jo
Lafayette, Jenepher Lingelbach, David Merker, Susan Morgan, Scott Morrical,
Ted Murin, Ronald Payne, Roy Pilcher, Barbara Powers, Chris Rimmer, Larry
and Mona Rogers, Davey Russell, Shelagh Smith, Ken and Mary Spencer, Allan
Strong, Stefan Sturup, John Sutton, Sharon Tierra, Kathleen Upton, Betty and
Rod Vallee, , Nate Wallace-Gusakov, Marianne and Michael Walsh and Aaron
We encourage you to contribute all your sightings to Vermont eBird, an
on-line database for tracking birds across Vermont and North America. Visit
Vermont eBird-http://www.ebird.org/vins/ for more Information. If you’re
already a Vermont eBirder- thank you for your contributions to the database.
The Vermont Institute of Natural Science offers natural history trips,
lectures and programs. To receive a copy of our program calendar, stop at
one of our centers, call the office during business hours at 802-457-2779 or
visit the VINS’ web site at http://www.vinsweb.org.
This Vermont birding report is a service of the Vermont Institute of Natural
Science. VINS is a non-profit, membership organization located in Woodstock
with regional centers in Montpelier and Manchester. Founded in 1972, VINS’
mission is to protect our natural heritage through education and research.
Your membership supports these goals and this reporting service. Updates
are typically made on Fridays. Please report your sightings of rare or
unusual birds to VINS, or email reports to [log in to unmask]
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
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leave a message by pressing 6, or you can send your sightings to the RBA via
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Vermont RBA Compilers
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Conservation Biology Department
27023 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT 05091