The highlight of this morning's group outing to Lake Runnemede was a 
Nelson’s Sparrow, first spotted by Ed Hack in a weedy patch in the 
northeastern corner of the open agricultural field (pumpkins and squash 
this year) area, and ultimately well seen by all 14 of us, with good 
photos taken by Ken Cox. According to eBird, this is the first record 
this species from Lake Runnemede, which already stands as Windsor County 
premier birding locality, with an all-time species count of 194, 
including this find.

Other highlights at Runnemede included 4 Buffleheads (3 males) in 
company with a striking male Hooded Merganser (nice contrast!), an 
immature Double-crested Cormorant, 6 Turkey Vultures, and a single adult 
Bald Eagle and Cooper’s Hawk. Warblers were scarce, with only a Common 
Yellowthroat and 7-8 Yellow-rumped Warblers. Sparrow numbers have 
thinned greatly, and we had only 6 species, including  White-crowned, 
White-throated, Lincoln's, Swamp, Song, and the Nelson's.

Six of us then decided to try for Kyle Jones's Dickcissel, so we headed 
up to the Foxstand fields in Royalton. We searched hard, but missed the 
bird. However, at Ainsworth Farm along Route 14 in South Royalton, we 
found an American Coot, 14 Killdeer, and a flock of 10+ American Pipits.

Great day, despite blustery winds, temps that never exceeded 40F and 
occasional spitting snow.


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