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Hi all, Lets start with yesterday’s weather. Rosie got some great shots while I was in town in the morning. Snowy here and even more in Middlebury, though I didn’t have the camera to prove it. Quit…

Source: Busy couple days, & unusual bird news

 

On Tuesday, Apr. 26, Mike Korkuc was taking pictures of a group of Loons on Lake Dunmore when he noticed one that was different. After sending his pictures around to others, the bird was identified as a Pacific Loon. Despite the name, this species is not a completely unheard of on this side of the continent. Some winter on the Atlantic coast, Read the rest of this entry »

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Spider webs illuminated by the rising Sun.

The morning of September 17 was the first frost advisory of the year for the Champlain Valley and though the temperature never dropped low enough to produce frost it did get cool enough to create impressive amounts of dew. So When I took a dawn walk at Otter View Park in Middlebury that morning all the grass, shrubs and trees were alight with sunlight refracting through the dew. What really caught my eye though was the remarkable number of normally undetectable spider webs that were revealed by this combination of Read the rest of this entry »

Snow Goose at Dead Creek Wildlife Management area, Addison – Photo by Bob Heitzman, Hartford VT

Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison is a well-known hot spot for Snow Geese in the spring and fall on their way to and from their breeding grounds in northern Canada, but one would not expect to find one there in the middle of summer. But that is just what has happened this year. Why it would spend the summer in Addison is open to speculation. No one I have talked to has seen this bird fly, and one observer even witnessed it struggling to go through a fence rather than over it, which leads to questions of the bird’s Read the rest of this entry »

Black-billed Cuckoo at Wright Park, Middlebury - Photos by Ron Payne

An unusual song stopped me in my tracks during a recent walk at Wright Park in Middlebury. Turning towards the sound I saw a bird fly up into a Sumac and perch there. Looking at it through my binoculars I saw brown uppers, white under parts, a long tail a curved bill and a red eye ring; it was a Black-billed Cuckoo. It stayed on that perch for several minutes then flew towards and past me into another much closer stand of Sumac. When it moved this time I could see another Cuckoo following closely behind it. The first bird Read the rest of this entry »

White-winged Crossbill in Addison. Photo by Deb Laramie.

Crossbills are unusual among our winter finches not only because their appearances are quite unpredictable from one year to the next, but also because they can occur, and breed, in any season in Addison County. This past winter and spring produced a poor crop of winter finches, excepting Common Redpolls, which were here in abundance, but  Addison County had three records of White-winged Crossbills. Alan Pistorius and Harriet Szanto had 12 in Lincoln in February, Becky Purdum recorded 8 coming to her feeders in Ripton Read the rest of this entry »

This morning I came across two Virginia Rail near the boardwalk at Otter View Park in Middlebury. They were acting rather fearless, one allowing me to take several pictures and a video from fifteen feet away. This spring is the first time since the boardwalk was built in 2008 that this species has been observed in the park. I believe it was the unusually high water in the marsh in early spring which attracted them. Read the rest of this entry »

Northern Rough-winged Swallow - Photo by Ron Payne

Northern Rough-winged Swallows are not an uncommon sight at Wright Park in Middlebury, so when walking there recently I was not surprised to find a pair flying near a field there. What did surprise me though was to find out exactly what it was they were doing. Before European colonization of America, Northern Rough-winged Swallows traditionally nested in burrows or niches in rock near water, but since our arrival many of them have taken advantage of man-made structures such as dams and bridges to build nests in. I Read the rest of this entry »

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This Peregrine Falcon was discovered on Wednesday, April, 6 on Weybridge St. in Middlebury in a tree next to the Otter Creek Child Care Center. Rodney Olson, who runs the Raptor banding program at the Hannaford Career Center, spotted it while driving by. He informed Gary Starr who informed me and I joined him there to see it. the reason for our excitement is that initially this bird was misidentified as a Gyrfalcon. But upon reviewing the pictures later we realized we had missed some of the main differentiating features Read the rest of this entry »

This afternoon I had a remarkable chance encounter with a Mink at Otter View Park in Middlebury. The snow is slowly melting from the boardwalk creating a narrow edge that you can walk on along the side. This allows you to move down it much more quietly that you would while walking on top of the crunching snow. This probably led to me initially escaping the notice of this Mink. It came down from the hill on the right to the channel that has melted under the boardwalk where it went out of sight for a moment allowing me to get Read the rest of this entry »

Fellow birders, I have been meaning to tell you about my Snipe sighting.  As you know, the little stream that runs out of the fish hatchery here in Salisbury stays open all winter and it is not unusual for a Kingfisher or Great Blue Heron to overwinter along it.  On the warm day (Thursday, Feb. 17) I walked down to the stream after lunch and flushed a Wilson’s Snipe from the stream west of Smead Read the rest of this entry »

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