Hello Warbling Birders, 

Last summer I participated in Bridget Butler's premier SLOW BIRDING workshop in southern Vermont. Since then, I have enjoyed birding more at home or locally (while on my way to work, for example) versus regularly traveling long distances. This spring, on my way to work, I have stopped in at the Hinesburg Village Cemetery for early morning birding on several occasions. It has been heavenly during this spring's migration. Starting at the top of the hill, as the rising sun slowly warms the trees and wakens prey for birds, you can follow the warm wave of warblers west. Situated on a west facing slope, it is a birder's paradise, with ideal ergonomic conditions: stand uphill and look eye level, into the crowns of trees to your west. Yesterday morning I set out with this goal, of working my way down the hills of the cemetery, but ended up spending nearly the entire time at the top. Regardless of wind and rain, the birds were active and plentiful! Woods, brooks, wetland, shrubs and open areas, this spot is hot! 

This morning I decided to try the Camels Hump Alpalca Farm fallow fields, across the street from my driveway (Highland Drive) in Huntington Center. I used to visit this spot regularly, but it changed significantly a few years back when goats grazed there....then came the motocross course the landowner's son created. Now the goats are gone, as well as the teenage racing craze. The goats opened up some great habitat and the birds have returned! If you "happen" to be in my neighborhood, you should check this spot out: cultivated fields, fallow fields, vernal pools, (submerged VAST trail), Cobb Brook, Huntington River, forests nearby... 

To sum it up, I share Dorothy Gale's quote from The Wizard of OZ: "If I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard."