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      Julie Hart and I did a bit of birding this weekend, stopping at
Charlotte Town Beach and the Shelburne Bay boat launch on both Saturday and
Sunday (30 & 31 Oct 2004).  As we expected with the southerly winds, things
were relatively quiet, but we did see a few birds, and even some
interesting non-birds.  Our best sighting at the town beach was the Rutland
County Audubon field trip group--it was great to show up there and see 10+
birders already there.  The juvenile Black-bellied Plover, four fly-by
female Black Scoters, and Horned Grebe were also nice to see.
      At our next stop, the boat launch, we were greeted by the twittering
and buzzy calls of a flock of 10 SNOW BUNTINGS flying south off the
bay.  Julie also flushed a sparrow from a very small clump of grass on the
rocks, and I followed it over to a larger clump of grass, where I was just
able to see it *run* into the grass and then disappear.  We were quite
intrigued by that behavior, and would have liked to have gotten a real look
at that bird.  Not much else was happening at the boat launch, so we spent
quite a bit of time enjoying the BONAPARTE'S GULLS perching and flying
nearby.  We also watched a Ring-billed Gull eat a crayfish today.
      Back here in Charlotte, a walk through some brushy fields yielded a
nice FOX SPARROW, three AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and a NORTHERN
FLICKER.  There are still lots of AMERICAN ROBINS in the area too.

Good birding,
Matt Medler