Despite weather conditions that warranted huddling by the wood stove, I
spent almost 4 hours birding the Connecticut River from Kilowatt South Park
in Wilder up to Pompy Flats and Kendall Station in Norwich today.
Originally intending to be out just an hour or so, the birding demanded
that I keep going. My first clue emerged at breakfast, with >50 juncos at
my home feeder, 2 White-throats, a Hermit Thrush, and a phoebe -- the
latter 3 all first for the year at our house.
At Kilowatt, highlights were 15 Bufflehead, a female Long-tailed Duck, male
Red-breasted Merganser, 2 Red-necked Grebes, a Pied-billed Grebe, and 2
Yellow Palm Warblers.
My next stop at Ledyard Bridge was notable for a flock of 45 robins and 4
phoebes foraging on the sleet-glazed exposed flats in Montshire Cove. Two
Vesper Sparrows were foraging in the parking lot next to the old railroad
At the site I call 'Pompy Oxbow' across from Pompy Farms on Rt. 5,
highlights were a N. Pintail pair, a Pied-billed Grebe, 6 phoebes, and 85
robins. Again, the later two species were foraging on the exposed
At Pompy Flats, 15 Killdeer, 5 phoebes and 75 robins were on the frozen
flats (another 50 robins were along Old Bridge Rd), and 2 Savannah Sparrows
foraged along the road.
At Campbell Flat, 60 robins foraged along the road, while 3 Vesper Sparrows
were together along the split rail fence by the frozen sedge meadow.
At Kendal Station, 9 Great Blue Herons were an arresting sight as they took
off in flight together, and I found another Vesper Sparrow, plus FOY (for
me) Winter Wren and Chipping Sparrow (the latter foraging with 3 Am. Tree
At Farrell Farm, I found a flock of 24 Killdeer and 3 Eastern Meadowlarks
moving between plowed and low grassy fields just north of the big corn
field. In corn stubble was a flock of >20 Savannah Sparrows with yet
Having never found more than a single Vesper Sparrow in an Upper Valley
birding day, it was remarkable to encounter 7 in four locations. It took me
the rest of the afternoon to warm up, but today's birding was truly
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
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