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May 2019


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Ian Worley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 17 May 2019 22:15:44 -0400
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In slowly fading daylight being chased by a rising full moon, I arrived 
at 8:21pm this evening at the well known Whip-poor-will location on
Snake Mountain Road in Weybridge, and found two individuals in song
already, definitely earlier than I expected. Before long a third joined
in the chorus.  They very actively moved around and up and down the
wooded slopes west of the road while singing, in the space from 0.5
miles north of Forrest Road to 0.7 miles north.  At one point, when all
three were together things got really noisy and frenetic.

This continued for the 39 minutes.  I then drove further north at a
speed precluding the birds likely passing me.  As their songs
disappeared behind me I encountered a fourth Whip-poor-will staring me
down from the middle of the road at a point 0.9 miles north of Forrest
Road, it eye shining in the dark, reflecting from the parking lights
that I was driving with. I "won" the staring match, the bird flew up and
disappeared up the mountain slope.  I continued driving another 0.3
miles and found a fifth individual singing robustly.  Another 1.3 miles
driving northward on Snake Mountain Road passed Prunier Road produced no
more Whip-poor-wills.

Four birds at a time have been reported twice before from this road. 
And four at one time have been reported from Highgate twice. This is the
first count of five.  And that's it for the Champlain Valley for four or
more individuals located in close proximity (0.7 mi) in the records of