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- RBA
*Vermont
*Statewide
*04/04/03
*VTVT0304.04

    Two WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were reported from the Connecticut River near
the toll bridge off Route 5 near Springfield on the 2nd. No details were
submitted. Further sightings in the river of this rare species in New
England should be documented and sent to New Hampshire Audubon (email:
[log in to unmask]) as the state line runs along the Vermont bank.
    Snow Geese have been scarce in the Connecticut River Valley, with only a
single bird reported from Springfield Meadows on the 29th and a flock of 75
over Sharon on the 25th. However, hundreds passed over the mouth of Otter
Creek on the 24th and an estimated 5000 were in the vicinity of Dead Creek
on the 25th.
    Waterfowl concentrated in good numbers in what open water was available
on Lake Champlain. On the 23rd, an estimated 1700 were at the north end of
the railroad causeway between Colchester and South Hero. That included 3
BARROW╣S GOLDENEYES. Another two were found at the Grand Isle ferry docks
and a sixth individual (!) was at │The Gut▓, the narrows between Grand Isle
and North Hero. Other areas of open water include the mouth of Otter Creek
(Fort Cassin) and the Crown Point Bridge. Additional areas may have opened
up more recently.
    Other waterfowl that have been reported include CANADA GOOSE, WOOD DUCK,
AMERICAN WIGEON, AMERICAN BLACK DUCK, MALLARD, NORTHERN PINTAIL,
GREEN-WINGED TEAL, RING-NECKED DUCK, GREATER and LESSER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD,
COMMON GOLDENEYES, as well as HOODED and COMMON MERGANSERS. 3 RED-BREASTED
MERGANSERS were seen at the Grand Isle ferry docks on the 24th.
    A PECTORAL SANDPIPER at the Ompompanoosuc Flats in Norwich on the 26th
and again on the 28th was about three weeks early, as was a BARN SWALLOW
reported from Quechee on the 30th. CHIPPING SPARROWS near Dead Creek on the
25th, Pawlet on the 29th and Bennington on the 1st, normally arrive about
the second week in April. The occurrence of 2 BONAPARTE╣S GULLS at the
Montshire Museum in Norwich also on the 30th, was not only early but also
unusual in the Upper Valley.
    Other early arrivals of note from around the state include a
RED-SHOULDERED HAWK in Newfane on the 19th, SONG SPARROW in Bristol on the
21st, AMERICAN WOODCOCKS in South Burlington and Weybridge on the 23rd,
GREAT BLUE HERON at Whitney Creek in Addison on the 24th, EASTERN PHOEBE in
Newfane on the 24th, OSPREY at Dead Creek on the 25th, EASTERN MEADOWLARK in
Monkton on the 25th, COMMON SNIPE at the Ompompanoosuc Flats in Norwich on
the 26th, BELTED KINGFISHER at Retreat Meadows on the 26th, NORTHERN FLICKER
in Newfane on the 26th, FOX SPARROW in Pawlet and Newfane on the 26th, and a
YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER was also in Newfane on the 26th. A WINTER WREN was
in Huntington on the 27th and a FIELD SPARROW was in Pawlet on the 29th.
    Lingering winter visitors included a flock of 10-15 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS at
Smuggler╣s Notch-Sterling Mountain on the 31st. NORTHERN SHRIKES were seen
in Underhill Center, Hartford, Dead Creek, Monkton, and at the Union Village
Dam in Thetford. Five ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS were in the vicinity of Dead Creek
on the 25th. A few AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS remain as well.
    A NORTHERN GOSHAWK was spotted crossing I-89 north of the Colchester
Exit on the 21st. SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS were seen in Burlington on the 27th
and in Tunbridge on the 2nd.
    A field ornithology class from Norwich University witnessed an
impressive AMERICAN ROBIN flight through the Dog River Valley in central
Vermont. Based on minute counts over a one hour period in a patch of sky
about 200 yards wide, it was estimated that over 31,000 birds flew over in a
front a mile wide!
    Five out of six pairs of GRAY JAYS being studied at Victory Bog are
already incubating.
    The Vernon Dam BALD EAGLES are also nesting.
    A pair of RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS was observed excavating a hole at Ten
Stones Circle off Greenbush Road in Charlotte.
    A single JUNCO with white wing bars was present with other │normal▓
JUNCOS at a feeder in Ripton this last week. The possibility of the
│white-winged▓ race from the Black Hills exists; but a few individuals of
the eastern race have white wing bars as well. Either way, the occurrence is
very unusual.

__________________________________
Wayne Scott
Compiler, VT Rare Bird Alert

416 Hanover Center Road
Etna, NH 03750
(603) 643-0179
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