Red-bellied Woodpecker eating from a hoarfrost covered suet feeder during last years Middlebury CBC

Fellow birders, Kris and I been seeing some of our winter avian visitors. We put up a small flock of Snow buntings in the parking lot of the Shelburne Museum last week and we have seen a few Rough-legged hawks, Tree sparrows, and Pine siskins out in the valley. I have also been watching the migrants on Lake Dunmore and seen Black scoter, White-winged scoter, Red-necked grebe, Pied-billed grebe and Long-tailed ducks among more common birds. Hopefully, with all the warm weather we have had this fall, our lakes, ponds, and rivers will retain some open water until our Middlebury Christmas Bird Count and we will have an unprecedented combination of winter visitors, migrants, half-hardies, and year-round birds. This year, our count will be held on Sunday, December 18, the day after the Ferrisburgh Count.

Please let us know if you will be able to cover your territory again this year. If you don’t have a regular territory and have some preferences about which territory you would like to cover or whom you would prefer to work with, let us know and we will try to accommodate. Please reply to this E-mail or call us at 352-4734 so we can start planning the coverage of our count circle. Also, if possible, let us know in advance if you have arranged for, or if you have room for, some helpers.

Remember, field observers over 18 years old are required to pay a $5 fee to offset the cost of the count. Field observers will meet at Rosie’s Restaurant at 6 AM on the 18th ready for a full day of birding. If you can make the time, try to get out and do a little scouting prior to the count. In my mind, one of the main benefits of scouting is finding locations that may be good for birding on foot, making contact with landowners, or talking with folks with feeders in your territory. Kris and I have occasionally been invited into homes to watch birds from the warm side of the windows. Plan to come to the after count compilation dinner also. As usual we will host participants at our home in Salisbury. We hope to see you there!

Jim and Kris Andrews
642 Smead Road
Salisbury, VT 05769

In Addison County, Christmas Bird Counts are also held in Ferrisburgh, Mt. Abe and Hinesburg. See our Calendar of Events for dates and contact information to participate.