The VINS Conservation Biology team completed an epic and fossil 
fuel-free Hike-Bike Birdathon on May 18.  Our itinerary was a 
grueling one, beginning with a dusk hike to the Pico Camp at 3400 ft 
in Sherburne on May 17, then clambering 1/2 mile in the pre-dawn 
yesterday to Pico's summit, where we were thwarted in our attempts to 
find Bicknell's Thrush and Blackpoll Warbler.  The wind and an 
apparently late migration phenology worked against us.  We hurried 
back down to Rt. 4 and began a 40-mile bike ride that ended us at the 
VINS headquarters in Woodstock, legs and lungs pleading with us to 
stop.  A few of us "cheated" and did some additional birding en route 
back to our homes, adding 5 new species.  Our grand team total was 
104 species -- pretty respectable without the aid of vehicles, and 
considering that we encountered very few bona fide migrant songbirds.

Highlights included:
Common Loon (pairs on Kent Pond inn Sherburne and Woodward Reservoir 
in Plymouth)
Virginia Rail -- in a small Sherburne wetland
Red Phalarope -- bird of the day, a pair found on Kent Pond by Roz 
Renfrew on her way home (not seen during morning)!
Willow Flycatcher -- 1 singing in Sherburne
Alder Flycatcher -- at least 6 singing in Sherburne alder wetlands
Cliff Swallow -- Kent Pond (also had the other 4 species here)
Carolina Wren  -- in WRJ en route back to Norwich
Marsh Wren -- a surprise, singing and displaying male in cattails at 
Dewey's Pond in Quechee
Swainson's Thrush -- 1 calling at c. 3200 ft on Pico
Canada Warbler -- 1 singing male in Reading, as we reached the top of 
our long climb on Class 4 roads.  Nice reward.
Rufous-sided Towhee -- 2 singing males in Woodstock

A few glaring misses (Green Heron, Broad-winged Hawk, Am. Kestrel, 
Indigo Bunting, Evening Grosbeak to name a few), but a great day.


Chris Rimmer
Conservation Biology Department
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
2723 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT 05091-9773
802-457-1053 ext. 120