It has been some years since I have observed a sizable flock of Purple  
Finches. To-day while driving Stage Road in Benson I came across a flock of  39 
Purple Finch garnering gravel on the road.  Among the 39 I was  able to 
identify only four birds that appeared to be adult males from their  coloration.
The Yellow-rumped Warblers were observed at Benson Landing as I was leaving 
 the lake and heading north up the hill.  Through the windshield I thought 
I  saw a Pine Siskin, so I pulled over and started to investigate.  The Pine 
 Siskin turned out to be a Yellow-rumped Warbler and it was not alone, 
there  being at least 4 more.  The birds were in a mixed grove of trees, red 
cedar  and poplar.  The yellow rumps were very actively feeding and  calling 
while gleaning the upper branches of the poplars.  This was  one time I really 
missed a birding buddy and so decided I had better attempt a  photograph 
for the record.  It was pretty well hit and miss but I am  pleased to report 
that I managed three "acceptable hits" thus confirming the  I.D.
I also managed some half way decent shots of the male American Kestrel  
perched on a power line.  The image will be posted on the RCAS web  site.
Stage Road, Benson, Rutland, US-VT
Dec 20, 2011 8:45 AM - 9:45  AM
Protocol: Traveling
2.4 mile(s)
Comments:      Temperature 26 degrees F.  NNW breeze.
15 species

Red-tailed  Hawk  1
Mourning Dove  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy  Woodpecker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Blue Jay   5
American Crow  3
Common Raven  1
Black-capped  Chickadee  4
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
American Robin   8
European Starling  28
American Tree Sparrow  4
Purple  Finch  33     Garnering grit on the road.  Only 4 adult  males 
American Goldfinch  2

Benson Landing, Rutland,  US-VT
Dec 20, 2011 10:25 AM - 11:30 AM

Protocol: Traveling
0.25 mile(s)
Comments:      Majority of time spent observing the lake.  Yellow-rumped 
Warblers in party  of 5 actively gleaning branches of poplar while calling.  
Photo  confirmation!
6 species

Canada Goose  110      Overhead moving south.
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee   1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
American Robin  14
Yellow-rumped  Warbler  5     In a group of at least five gleaning prey  
from upper branches of poplars.  Photo confirmation.
Park Hill Road, Benson, Rutland, US-VT
Dec 20, 2011 1:55 PM - 2:05  PM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Temperature 31  degrees F.  NNW breeze.  American Kestrel 
2  species

Northern Harrier  1     Either female or  juvenile.
American Kestrel  1

This report was generated  automatically by eBird v3 (

Roy Pilcher
The Gables at East Mountain, Rutland,  Vermont

Speaking the same language.