My first Christmas Bird Count was somewhere in the early 60s with the Edgar A. Mearns Bird Club in Orange County, NY. I started doing the Brattleboro Christmas count in 1980. It really wasn't a big thing as it is now but , it was a count. I remember it because we were new to the area, only being a resident for one year and I chose to do the area around Brookside Apts. because I was living there and there was lots of woodland and the Memorial Park close by. But it wasn't very productive. And also a stretch of the Connecticut River that I had checked earlier that was ice free. I can't remember the name of the road but it was the first right hand turn after crossing the bridge off of the rotary. My wife and I found several Common Mergansers puddling and diving in the calm waters. We reported it, and found out that it had never been reported before. So they were kind of skeptical about taking our word because they didn't really know us and we didn’t really know them. By them I meant to say Louise Mullen (who wrote a bird column for the Reformer), Al Watson (whom I believe was president of SVAS at the time), Whitney Nichols (the expert birder of the group) and John Kristiansen (Sp?) in fact we were holding the countdown in John's office where we munched on cookies and hot chocolate. A far cry from the countdown pot luck suppers of today's group. I think at that time there were more feeder watchers than field workers. But we had a good time. Years later when it became our turn to run the count we started offering the countdown with a pot luck dinner/supper and it really went over big-time and the tradition is still being passed on. Hollie Bowen and her husband Paul have been so gracious and kind to open their Brattleboro house and invite everyone to attend , whether you are a birder or not. You should try to make it to Hollies house sometime for the countdown. The birds are usually great and the food is outstanding. By the way, Whitney did take our Common Mergansers.
From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Cory Ross
Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2018 9:34 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] First Vermont Circle?
The Brattleboro count started in 1903. It was conducted very intermittently until the 60’s, however. This year was only the 58th year the count was held.
Southeastern Vermont Audubon
> On Dec 26, 2018, at 8:19 AM, Bridget Butler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I know the Burlington Circle celebrated 70 years last year, but wasn't
> the first circle somewhere along the Connecticut River? Where's our
> longest running circle? What year did it start?
> Thanks for your help filling in some historical data for me!