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October 2014


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Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:35:17 -0400
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
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Kent McFarland <[log in to unmask]>
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A quick look at Vermont eBird high count tool - see
shows the high count for Red-tailed Hawk was Roy Pilcher at Mt. Philo on
Oct. 19, 1995 with 230.


Kent McFarland
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
PO Box 420 | Norwich, Vermont 05055
802.649.1431 x2

[image: VCE Logo] <http://www.vtecostudies.org/>

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM, Chris Rimmer <[log in to unmask]>

> Several of us, in tow behind Ted Murin and Big Bertha, parked ourselves at
> the Shelburne Bay access this afternoon and were treated to a spectacle
> that we may never again experience in our birding lifetimes.  The strong
> northerly winds precipitated a show-stopping southward flight of Turkey
> Vultures and Red-tailed Hawks.  We arrived at 1 pm and initially focused on
> lake and shoreline birds, which included a female American Wigeon, 2
> Greater Yellowlegs, and a lone Sanderling.  We soon took notice of the
> impressive flight taking place overhead and began keeping track, which was
> challenging, as birds were spread far and wide, at varying heights above
> ground.  Our counts of TVs and Red-tails are definitely lower than actual,
> probably by 25% or more.  We were jokingly confident that a Golden Eagle
> would appear (and we may well have missed one), but that hadn't happened by
> our 4 pm departure, at which point the Red-tail flight had dwindled to a
> trickle, though vultures were still moving.  We were hardly disappointed
> overall.
> Ted did some preliminary digging this evening and reports that the
> previous recorded high count for Red-tailed Hawk in VT is 324 birds on
> 10/20/91 in White River Junction.  However, he recalls that counts in the
> 400s or higher may have been recorded from the Champlain Valley some years
> ago, though these are likely buried in old hawkwatch reports and need to be
> retrieved.  Whether today's 3-hour count constitutes a new single-day
> record or not, had we been stationed there from mid-morning onward, there
> can be no doubt we'd have eclipsed the previous high.
> An immature Little Gull in flight was observed clearly during several
> minutes over the middle of the bay, in the company of Bonaparte's Gulls.
> A memorable 3 hours of birding, to say the least.  Highlights are below.
> Chris
> Shelburne bay fishing access, Chittenden, US-VT
> Oct 22, 2014 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
> Protocol: Stationary
> Comments:     With Ted Murin, Paul Wieczoreck, Ali Wagner and Pat Folsom.
> Steve Antell, Larry Haugh, and Bruce MacPherson present for some of the 3
> hours
> 27 species
> Snow Goose  1     flying east to west over middle of bay
> Canada Goose  85
> American Wigeon  1
> Mallard  65
> Green-winged Teal (American)  10
> White-winged Scoter  97
> Common Merganser  12
> Common Loon  5
> Double-crested Cormorant  4
> Great Blue Heron  2
> Turkey Vulture  354     An absolute minimum count, and we probably missed
> (or failed to count) ~25% of the total number of birds that passed by
> during our 3 hours of observation.  Most were moving southward over the
> east shore of bay, but some crossed from Red Rocks to Shelburne Point,
> while others crossed over middle of bay itself.  An impressive spectacle,
> to say the least
> Sharp-shinned Hawk  3     All identified by Ted Murin with the aid of Big
> Bertha
> Bald Eagle  3
> Red-tailed Hawk  359     As for Turkey Vulture, this count is undoubtedly
> low, probably by 25% or more of the actual number that passed.  Birds
> passed southward at all heights, from 100 feet to >500 feet, from middle of
> bay to nearly out of sight along east shore, in groups that ranged from
> kettles of >25 to singles of 2s and 3s.  Some were mixed in with vulture
> flocks.  Impossible to have accurately counted all birds passing by, and
> there could well have been >500.
> Greater Yellowlegs  2
> Sanderling  1
> Bonaparte's Gull  35
> Little Gull  1     First identified by Ali Wagner as it flew over middle
> of bay with Bonaparte's Gulls, confirmed by Ted Murin through his Big
> Bertha scope.  Notable for smaller size, distinctive dark 'M' wing pattern,
> lack of white patch in outer primaries
> American Kestrel  3
> American Crow  X     A prolonged loose stream moving south along east
> shore of bay - concentrated over ~1.5 hours from 1:30-3.  There could
> easily have been 2000 birds, but 1500 is a minimum estimate.  Too diffuse
> and distant to accurately count
> Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
> View this checklist online at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/
> checklist?subID=S20310835
> --
> Chris Rimmer
> Vermont Center for Ecostudies
> P.O. Box 420
> Norwich, VT 05055
> 802-649-1431 ext. 1
> www.vtecostudies.org