Hello Vermont Birders:
Thank you very much Pat Folsom for putting the word out earlier.
Ali Wagner and I were lucky enough to come upon a handsome Harris's Sparrow
(adult in winter plumage) this morning in Bridport. I have been told there
are less than five records for Vermont.
An image of the bird can be viewed here:
We were traveling north on Basin Harbor Road, north of the intersection of
Middle Road and Basin Harbor Road (The Huestis Farm). Just past a house on
the left (mailbox marked 2666 on the right), the road dipped down to a
We noticed a flurry of bird activity in this swale on the right/east side
so we stopped the car. From inside the vehicle, I began squeaking and was
rewarded with a sharp response from a nice mix of birds. The Harris's
Sparrow flew into a large tree, close to the road, immediately north of the
The stream valley is just south of Market Road West (a much quieter road
than Basin Harbor). There are no shoulders on this stretch of Basin Harbor
Road and it is a steep drop off so be careful. I would recommend parking up
on Market Road W and walking back down/south to the area. It will be safer
for you, your car, and minimize disturbance to local traffic. The Harris's
Sparrow and other birds were primarily on the east side of the road.
The house south of the stream on the west side of Basin Harbor Road has
several feeders out front. These feeders were drawing a lot of activity
from the birds in the swale, mostly House Sparrows. I wouldn't be surprised
if the Harris's Sparrow visited those feeders from time to time.
This location is a prime example where birders have the potential to build
good faith among the greater community (locals) or sully our good name with
questionable behavior. Please be respectful of private property.
Best of luck if you try for this beauty and good birding,
Field Guides Birding Tours