Good Morrrrrrrrrrrning, VtBIRDers!

Jim Mead and I went on a birders' style rampage yesterday and stopped at 
these two locations as well. Mid day, at the Rutland Marsh, we dipped on the 
Bittern, and thought we had as well with the Saw Whet owlets, but when 
returning to the truck, Jim noticed one chick at the box opening.  We then 
set up the truck with front row seating (pulled into side "road" across the 
street from the box) and had the best lunch ever, tailgating birders' style 
with the family in our scopes.  Over the course of about thirty minutes, we 
concluded we'd seen all three owlets, as subtle differences in facial 
patterns could be noticed, while they "took turns" getting some fresh air 
(and looking at their audience).  Jim commented on how it looked like a 
puppet show at times as heads would quickly disappear, pop up, disappear 
again. Also, it was nice to meet some local folks that came along to 
photograph the Saw Whets.

Later, while viewing a Black Vulture perched near the top of a cliff (much 
white wash where it was), I heard the Prothonotary sing just once;  we did 
not include it in our list as he did not show himself or sing again for us 
both to hear, but we were delighted to know this bird is still around.  Best 
of luck to him in finding a mate, and other birders looking for him!  This 
viewing was at the first area where there is a small pool of water on the 
west side of the road.  The vulture was a target bird for us both, and 
seeing it perched where there was so much white wash left us wondering if it 
was nesting.

Besides these awesome encounters, another highlight of the day was 
hearing/seeing TWO Yellow-billed Cuckoos.  We started our morning at 
Whipstock Hill where we located the first bird.  We had to step along the 
trail gingerly, however,  to avoid a  different species with the highest 
count of  the day:  we  tallyed at least 141 "red efts" of various sizes and 
ages.  (NOTE:  We did not hear or see the coveted Hooded Warbler.)  The one 
bird that held our attention the longest we could not get a handle on it. 
We were intrigued by a songster that sounded like a cross between a 
Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, but was  very Cerulean-like.  One very 
unsatisfactory glimpse of a busy bird gleaning high in the canopy showed me 
white underneath, no black or fire orange on its throat.  I could not be 
100% sure it was the Cerulean and some things are best let go, so we did. 
Later in the day, we tried again for the Cerulean on our way to the Rutland 
Marsh, hearing many warblers, but not the Cerulean.

Another bird we had to let go, was a likely Orchard Oriole at Ward Marsh 
(northern end).  Sounding too burry to be a Baltimore, Jim managed to get on 
the bird for only a second before it took off.  We heard it a few more 
times, but it was too distant to locate.  An unexpected Bald Eagle eased the 
disappointment.  Perched on a very dead snag, it nearly snapped the branch 
it was perched on when it took flight!  NOTE:  A local kindly stopped to 
suggest to me to be on the alert for Rattlesnakes in this area.  I'm glad we 
stayed on the road!

The second cuckoo was along the Ward Marsh, also seen and heard, close to 
the southern end near/where it joins Buckner Preserve (but before the 
bridge).  As we left Buckner to return home to Chittenden County,  one last 
bird announced its presence.  Jim and I both responded emphatically, 

Great day, great birding, great friend (thanks, Jim)!


-----Original Message----- 
From: Jim Phillips
Sent: Sunday, May 29, 2016 2:42 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [VTBIRD] Sunday 5/29/16 Prothonotary Yes, Saw-whet Owls No

The PROW did indeed cross from the far (New York) side to the VT side.
We heard it calling as it moved along, then it stopped calling and we
walked back up the road past the larger pond to the smaller pond.  At
that point we heard it again on the NY side, and saw it fly out onto a
log on the far shore.  It stayed there for a few seconds, and then flew
bank into the woods where we could hear it calling as it moved through
the woods.

5/29/2016 2:14 PM, Nancy A. Brown wrote:
> THis morning 7:15 am stop at West Rutland Marsh had no juvenile Saw-whet 
> Owls found outside box in apple tree, (yesterday there were 3) .  At 11:30 
> am after waiting an hour the Prothonotary at Buckner Preserve in West 
> Haven was heard and 2 other birders did get a glimpse of it. It was on the 
> river bank tree line, across from the first pond and moving quickly east 
> as it call a dozen times.  They saw it as it crossed road at east end of 
> pond.