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This morning brought a memorable birding surprise.  On Kendall Station 
Road in Norwich, I was startled to hear and then moments later observe 
at close range an adult male Red-headed Woodpecker. The bird called 
persistently during >10 minutes that I watched it, flying between a 
large silver maple on the river and a stand of poplars across the road. 
   At one point, it was joined by a male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, then 
moments later by a flicker.  The bird appeared agitated or restless, 
being both very vocal and physically active, moving constantly.  I know 
it stayed in the area for at least an hour, as others were able to see 
it as well, although it was not found in late morning.  Quite a thrill, 
needless to say.

Across Route 5 at the Ompompanoosuc River flats were at least 51 
Short-billed Dowitchers roosting tightly on small vegetated islands 
among the flooded mud flats, bills tucked into their back feathers.

In Norwich village was a singing N. Mockingbird, the first I've ever 
encountered in >25 years there.

With the late morning discovery of a Northern Wheatear at the VA 
Hospital in White River Jct (I was en route to DE by the time it became 
known, so missed it) and yesterday's find of a singing Yellow-breasted 
Chat in Bethel, the Upper Valley is serving notice to the big, bad 
Champlain Valley that we're gunning to become Vermont's rarity mecca!

Chris

-- 
Chris Rimmer
Vermont Center for Ecostudies
P.O. Box 420
Norwich, VT 05055
802-649-1431 ext. 1
www.vtecostudies.org