At the intersection of Rt.17 and Jersey Street North in Addison, there was
an astounding flock of 20+ Lapland Longspurs, along with about 10 Common
Redpolls and one Horned Lark at 4:20 PM today. They were feeding on the
plowed NW roadside of Rt. 17, and when a car would go by, they would fly to
the shrubs in the triangle of the intersection, which fortunately saved them
from being hit. This pattern was repeated many times, and the birds really
wanted to feed in this one spot.
Earlier in the day, at 1:30 PM, we hiked the Ti Haul Trail in Shelburne.
About a half mile up the trail, an estimated 100 robins were spread
throughout the woods, feeding on buckthorn fruits. We also watched more
than 25 robins drinking in the flooded brook that flows through the wetland
and crosses the trail.
Buckthorn may be an invasive species, but I have observed many robins and
cedar and Bohemian waxwings eating a lot of buckthorn fruits. It was
interesting to note that there were no robins in the La Platte River Natural
Area, which is owned by the Nature Conservancy and where the buckthorn had
recently been removed, but all the robins were along the Ti Haul Trail on
the W side where the buckthorn was growing.