This is the Vermont bird report for Friday, August 8, 2003.

On Aug. 6th an adult BLACK-HEADED GULL in breeding plumage was observed at
Noblewood Park in the Town of Willsboro, Essex County, New York.  This park is
located where the Boquet River meets the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, a
miles north of the Essex-Charlotte ferry crossing. It was found with 500
BONAPARTE’S GULLS. It was last reported flying out into the lake.

Also seen at Noblewood Park were six SANDERLINGS, three SEMIPALMATED PLOVERS,
SANDPIPERS (one adult breeding and one juvenile).

A 2nd-year. Little Gull was observed off the west shore of Grand Isle with a
dozen Bonaparte’s Gulls on the evening of August 7th.

On Lake Champlain on Aug. 5 a RUDDY TURNSTONE was seen on Popasquash Island
a semipalmated sandpiper on Rock Island. There were also 10-20 adult
Gulls just south of Butler Island. 

60 Common Terns were counted on Popasquash Island and 30+ on Rock Island with
lots of young mixed in with the adults.  Mark Labarr of Vermont Audubon
reported that this could be the best nesting year since 2000 with over 80
fledglings expected.

On August 5th in the Upper Connecticut River Valley the following shorebirds
were reported from the Ompompanoosuc River Flats around a manure pile and
puddle (site +ACM-8 on the CT River Birding Trail): 6 Least Sandpipers, 2
Solitary Sandpipers, 1 Semi-palmated Plover and many Killdeer.

An AMERICAN BITTERN was reported on August 5th at Sandbar.

On August 1st at least two (maybe three) immature bald eagles were at the
Brilyea Access of Dead Creek, and on August 3rd one adult Bald eagle on Lake
Morey.  An adult Peregrine Falcon was observed flying low over City Hall in
downtown Burlington on August 6th.  A juvenile Sawhet Owl on July 31st was
mobbed by a Bicknell’s Thrush on Stratton Mountain. And wrapping up the
on August 4th a Merlin visited a yard near Red Rocks Park, remaining in the
perch for about six hours.

Songbirds have quieted down but several people report finding 20-25 species
during bird outings in Rutland and Fairlee.  Highlights include a
Warbler in Fairfax on August 6th, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo on August 5th and a
Black-billed Cuckoo on August 3rd in Grande Isle.  An adult and fledgling
Bicknell’s Thrush on July 31st on Stratton Mountain were calling as well as a
few singing Blackpoll Warblers.  A pair of CAROLINA WRENS, doubling as alarm
clocks, have been greeting a neighborhood in Woodstock this week.

A preliminary report for this year’s Common Loons from Eric Hanson, VINS Loon
Biologist, is: 44 nests, 4 new sites, 61 chicks hatched, 12 chicks lost to
with 37 successful nests.

A preliminary report for Bicknell’s Thrush nesting success from the VINS
Conservation Biology Department field station on Stratton Mountain reports 14
nests with 9 of them failing.  Nest failures in seasons of heavy balsam fir
cone crops such as this past spring are common. One nest failed when a female
was depredated by a Sharp-shinned hawk and was later recovered at the hawks
nest over 1.5 miles away by following the thrushes radio transmitter signal.

Thanks to the following contributors whose observations were cited above for
the period: Larry & Mona Rogers, Sue Elliott, Matt Medler, Ken Copenhaver,
LaBarr, Scott W. Morrical, Eric Hanson, John Harbison, Gregory R. Askew, Bill
Shepard, Kevin Hecht, Kent McFarland.

This message is also available by phone recording: call 802-457-1053 and press
6 as directed. If you have seen any interesting birds recently, you can
leave a
message by pressing 5 or send your sightings to the RBA via e-mail at:
[log in to unmask]  

Kent McFarland, Roz Renfrew, Chris Rimmer
VT RBA Compilers

Vermont Instutite of Natural Science
Conservation Biology Department
27023 Church Hill Rd.
Woodstock, VT 05091