Ron Pittaway contributes an analysis annually, "Winter Finch Forecast"
to the Ontario Field Ornithologists web pages. For some reason their
site is down right now, but the forecast is widely reprinted. Here is
another link where it may be found.
He predicts this to be a strong irruptive year. You are one of the
lucky early beneficiaries of this phenomenon having seen Pine Grosbeaks
and Bohemian Waxwings already. To my knowledge, neither species has yet
been reported in the Champlain Valley. For a look at more 'normal'
years, see Bryan Pfeifer and Ted Murin's book, "Birdwatching in
Vermont". It has species abundance tables, by month, so you can know
what to expect and when, in this fine state we are fortunate enough to
call home. This book provides detailed information on most of the
state's IBAs, replete with maps, caveats, parking information and etc.
And, it is very reasonably priced. Both Bryan and Ted are excellent
ambassadors of the birding community and I urge all new birders to the
state to have a copy of their important in-state birding reference.
Peter Scully wrote:
> A flock of a dozen Pine Grosbeaks were flying and calling over Happy Hollow Rd. in South Royalton today. Also present was a Northern Shrike.
> I am new to the area, having moved from Long Island. I didn't imagine these northern species being so numerous here. I have seen three different Shrike, a nice flock of Bohemian Waxwings and now Pine Grosbeaks on two different occasions. Is this a typical early autumn in central Vermont? Also, I would love to know if there are any reliable locations for roosting saw-whet. Thanks for any help.
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