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Yesterday late afternoon my wife and I were walking
our dog at the Spirit in Natura nature trail in the
mountains east of Middlebury. In a grove of evergreens
surrounded by mixed hardwoods we were startled by a
bird call we have never heard before. 

The call was a powerful, whistle-like two note, rising
on the second note. To me it sounded like too-TEE;
this call note was repeated several times in a row,
with significant spacing in between. After several
such calls the bird would then change to a brief
chortle or warble. and start the cyle of calls over
again. We're far from experts but are familiar with
most common calls in our area. This was completely new
to us. The too-Tee portion reminded me of a towhee
call, in its tonal quality and strength, but without
the trill at the end. We listened to our Peterson
audio guide all the way through and heard nothing like
it. I expect that this is an unfamiliar varient call
of something relatively common, but I have no idea
what  :)

We did get some visual info as well. We finally spoted
the bird perched at the very top of a conifer. But (of
course) we didn't have our binocs, plus the sun was
setting so we saw the bird clearly but only backlit so
not indication of color or markings. What we could see
was a mid-sized bird, very robinish in size(maybe
smaller)and posture, with a prominent tail.

I know its hard to id second-hand, but I'm really
stumped by this and would appreciate any input.
Thanks, Michael Thomas


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