Hi Mark,

You managing the Essex Christmas count this year? Who do I talk to about covering same zone my team did last year?



At 12:00 PM 11/8/2002 -0500, you wrote:
Great stuff Roy. Roy's work as well as the work being done at other
Important Bird Areas (IBAs) around the state by Audubon Chapters and other
volunteers is a great example of how we can all work to help protect birds
and their habitats. The data collected at the Lake Bomseen/Hubbarton IBA has
been important not only in the designation of that site as an IBA but also
in current attempts to reclassify the marshes within the IBA to better
protect the unique diversity of birds that use this site. Regular site
monitoring such as this is simple and fun and can be used to track
population trends as well as identify what species are using a particular
IBA. This in turn helps with conservation efforts. Thanks again Roy for your


Mark LaBarr
Vermont Important Bird Areas Coordinator
Audubon Vermont
255 Sherman Hollow Road
Huntington, Vermont 05462
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-----Original Message-----
From: Roy Pilcher [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 06, 2002 7:49 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Lake Bomoseen, Hubbardton, State IBA

Observations, Tuesday, November 5, 2002

Canada goose (58), mallard (31), American black duck (33), ring-necked duck
(~165), hooded merganser (48), ring-billed gull (2), shorebird species (2).

As an isolated list out of context, these observations warrant not much more
than the delete key!  However, when viewed as an element in a continuum of
monthly data over a period of five years, the raw numbers take on an added
significance and interest.  Consider the Canada goose observation for a
starter, there is a consistency in occurrence here that the raw number does
not expose, since their absence is noted only four times during the five
observation period. The black duck/mallard totals range as high as 79 on
11/3/2000 to consistent lows each May, 4 on 5/1/1998, 9 on 5/1/2001 and 6 on
5/3/2002, while in each case the earlier, March and/or April number is
higher.  What is at work here?  Are these wetlands thawing earlier and thus
providing a food base before surrounding areas can be exploited?  Then there
are the ring-necked ducks whose numbers generally peak in April and then
again in November, 62 on 11/21/98, 127 on 4/15/2000, 22 on 4/19/2001, 164 on
4/4/2002 and 165 on 11/5/2002.  For the other eight of or nine months they
are absent, classic migrants using these wetlands as a stopover whether
north or south.  Finally the hooded mergansers which seem to peak also
November, 63 on 11/21/1998, 22 on 11/11/1999, 29 on 11/3/2000 and 22 on
12/3/2001 (the exception) and 48 on 11/5/2002.  Except for a few sightings
early spring they are unreported and apparently not present.
To be sure all of this may add little to our collective knowledge and
understanding but I would suggest that if one has the opportunity to take a
particular area, it could be your own backyard, a favorite walk, a pond,
whatever, and visit and monitor the bird activity there consistently over a
period of time, then you will be rewarded with an added appreciation of the
rhythms of the seasons and the manner in which the birds both exploit them,
and at the same time, are governed by them.

Roy Pilcher,
Proctor, Vermont

Speaking the Same Language.

Rick Renaud
Online Customer Acquisition Manager
America's Gardening Resource:
Gardener's Supply Company
Dutch Gardens
802.660.3500 ext. 5352
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