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When I first set up the OCAS trail camera at this location at the Hurd Grassland in Weybridge back in October, I did so specifically because I believed we might catch Turkeys on video there. Six months of disappointment followed (well, only if you consider a bobcat disappointing). But finally, after a long wait. my instincts paid off. I hope you enjoy these clips of Turkeys that were captured of a span of five days.

– Ron Payne

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On Saturday, April 8, OCAS hosted the bi-annual Audubon Assembly, this time taking place at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison. These meetings are a regular opportunity for board members of Audubon Chapters around the state to get together with representatives of Audubon Vermont and talk about our programs and, local, state and Federal issues, and the challenges we all face. Read the rest of this entry »

A Trumpeter Swan has been seen for the past few days in Brandon on Rt. 73 about a mile west of the village in a wetland near a railroad overpass. If accepted by the Vermont Bird Records Committee, this would be only the second time the species was recorded in Vermont. The first time was at Tri-Town Water District Plant on Lake Champlain in Addison on May 26, 2014. There are efforts to reintroduce this species in Ontario, so sightings of these birds may become more common in the future.

Pictures and story by Mike Korkuc:

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I took too many pictures but here are a few decent ones. It appears to think it’s a goose. It was alone when I got there and immediately went to join the geese when they flew in. The ice seems to be skimming over as we watched. Folks who met a state employee there ahead of us understood him to say he saw the swan fly, so it’s apparently not trapped there.

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This is the second time our trail camera has caught a Bobcat at the Hurd Grassland in Weybridge, but unlike our previous capture, this one was caught on video. There are a couple of interesting things featured in this short clip, especially seen in the slow motion replay. Note how even with the Bobcat’s elongated stalking stride, it’s rear feet land Read the rest of this entry »

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Red-breasted Nuthatch

Since mid-December a Red-breasted Nuthatch with a straight bill about 2 ½ times the normal length has visited our feeders in Ripton. It takes black oil sunflower seeds regularly, making a half dozen trips daily to either of two feeders. We have not seen it open or cache the seeds. Nor have we seen it forage down nearby tree trunks like other nuthatches, although it may do so. Its health appears to be otherwise normal. Read the rest of this entry »

Craig Zondag took a picture of these Mourning Doves in New Haven with damaged tails covered in ice after a recent ice storm. These birds seek the shelter of thick shrubs and trees when the encounter inclement weather. But in an ice storm, when rain freezes on impact surfaces, Mourning Doves can run into a problem. Rain that lands on their bodies is Read the rest of this entry »

While walking the banks of the Otter Creek in Middlebury near Otter View Park recently, I came across a remarkable piece of beaver work. A log which had been carved into seven distinct lobes laying across a pile of shavings. Examining the tree, I found it to be a 40-year-old ash which had been cut down and hung up in the canopy of another tree at a Read the rest of this entry »

Last week while birding in Orwell, my friend and I spotted three dark birds spiraling up on a thermal. With their black heads, and underwings with silver primaries, and short wedge-shaped tail we were able to immediately identify them as Black Vultures. These birds are becoming an increasingly common sight in the Champlain Valley with a possible turning point for considering them them common rather than vagrants coming last year Read the rest of this entry »

Eastern Phoebes have become so well known for four building nests on the eaves of houses, on porches, in barns, on bridges and on many other man-made structures it may be a bit hard to imagine where they built their nests before European settlement of North America. Recently, Warren King, Carol Ramsayer and myself had the opportunity to see first hand the type of place they might have used back then while walking a property in Salisbury. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »