I didn't see a post from Rick so I thought I put one out here...
Thanks to Rick Renaud, I had a personal tour of the extensive series of
orchards above Rick's house on Brigham Hill in Essex on a very beautiful
We went looking for warblers, and we found them:
--black and white
--chestnut-sided (with strange calls that kept fooling us...)
--black-throated green (heard, then later seen by Rick)
--yellow-rumped (reported later in the day, it was conspicuously absent earlier)
Also present and notable in the orchards:
We noted an odd number of great looks at red-eyed vireos... and then in one
field, while tracking down a mourning warbler, we came upon 3 red-
eyeds "playing" down low in the sumac... they were buzzing about and
posing... neither I nor Rick had seen any vireo behavior like it.
We struck out on the cerulean, but the morning was really dominated by big
birds. On the hunt for wood-warblers, we caught sight of what turned out to
be a huge barred owl... behaving very wierdly. Rick's theory was that it was
feigning injury -- first it flew at us and landed in a tree (50' away) to check us
out... then it proceeded to fly from tree to tree, perching awkwardly and
flapping its wings. It had no trouble flying. There also seemed to me to be a
hip thrust (reminding me a little of a woodcock). I thought I heard what might
have been its mate clucking nearby... perhaps it was protecting a nest?
perhaps it was copulating? Any ideas?
Finally, on the way back down to the house, we nearly squashed a bunch of
turkey chicks... the mother bolted off leaving a dozen or so chicks, many of
whom couldn't even right themselves in the grass.
With both the owl and the turkey, we skee-daddled in order to try to minimize
stress on the birds.
And finally, on a whim, I stopped by Giprag's in Hinesburg this AM and
happened upon a singing Blue-winged warbler -- such a beautiful bird -- Whoo-