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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January 30, 2008

Today has brought some wild weather, from rain to sleet to snow. A small group of crows has been hanging around the Nature Center, searching the field for scraps from the Ice on Fire celebration this past Sunday. We're glad the weather waited until after the weekend to put on its show!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

January 23, 2008

While scouting a trail for the full moon snowshoe hike, Sandal and Heather stumbled upon fresh beaver clippings resting on the snow's surface. This is among the many signs you may come across during these cold winter months which remind us that some animals in Vermont remain active all winter long.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 21, 2008

A group of intrepid teens enjoyed a day of birding in the Champlain Valley today, and made some exciting observations. Highlights included a flock of Bluebirds near the Crown Point Bridge in Addison, a Rough-legged Hawk off rt-117 in Addison. In the Shelburne Bay area, two Common Loons were sighted, along with several Horned Grebes. Perhaps the most notable observation was that of a juvenile Northern Shrike, which was caching pieces of meat in the tree branches. What a gift it was to see! Next teen birding program: Great Backyard Bird Count.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008

Bright sunny skies are always enjoyed here at the Nature Center. In addition to the mobs of Chickadees at our birdfeeders, a pair of Mallards was seen on the river.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 15, 2008

Participants of our astronomy program braved cold temperatures and peered through thin clouds to observe the constilations of winter, the craters of the moon, and the red glow of Mars.

Monday, January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008

14/08Plainfield Christmas Bird Count Results

Twelve teams, totaling 29 participants participated in this year's Plainfield Christmas Bird Count, recording 4855 birds of 36 species. Some highlights include 12 American Robins, 40 Northern Cardinals, and 412 Bohemian Waxwings (all record high counts for the Plainfield CBC). Along with Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks were also seen in greater-than-usual numbers, indicating the major irruption of these northern species this winter. Lower-than-usual numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets and Red-breasted Nuthatches were reported this year. The complete results of the Plainfield CBC are shown below:

Canada Goose 1 Tufted Titmouse 7
Mallard 21 Red-breasted Nuthatch 15
Hooded Merganser 2 White-breasted Nuthatch 39
Ruffed Grouse 2 Brown Creeper 2
Wild Turkey 384 Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Northern Goshawk
2 American Robin 12
Red-tailed Hawk
2 European Starling 478
Rock Pigeon 557 Bohemian Waxwing 412
Mourning Dove 174 Cedar Waxwing 1
Barred Owl 3 American Tree Sparrow 59
Downy Woodpecker 50 Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco 42
Hairy Woodpecker 41 Northern Cardinal 40
Pileated Woodpecker 3 Pine Grosbeak 202
Blue Jay 200 House Finch 25
American Crow 221 Common Redpoll 162
Common Raven 35 American Goldfinch 19
Horned Lark 11 Evening Grosbeak 48
Black-capped Chickadee 1521 House Sparrow 60

Also seen Count Week were Carolina Wren and Snow Bunting.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008

Nature News is back, after a short winter hiatus! It feels more like March than January today, and the animals feel it too! A Wooly Bear caterpillar was found walking atop the snow around the Nature Center today. It will be quite disappointed when the thaw ends, and it has to go back into hiding for several more months.