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Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31 , 2008

A few brave souls tolerated rain and mosquitos for our teen birding trip to Moose Bog. The Spruce Grouse eluded us, but despite the rain, we managed to pick up 33 species including boreals such as Gray Jay and Black-backed Woodpecker. Other highlights included extended looks at male Blackburnian Warbles (plus one female gathering nesting material). The morning's list is below:

Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Wilson's Snipe
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-backed Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Blue-headed Vireo
Tree Swallow
Blue Jay
Gray Jay
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
Swamp Sparrow
Purple Finch

Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30 , 2008

Our weekly bird walk returned to North Branch today, where one of the morning's highlights was a Black-billed Cuckoo, which after being spotted, actually flew towards our group, giving us great views. Our bird list for the morning is below:

Great Blue Heron
Spotted Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Rock Pigeon
Black-billed Cuckoo
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Downy Woodpecker
Alder Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird (building nest)
Tree Swallow
Blue Jay
Tufted Titmouse
House Wren
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Canada Warbler
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 28 , 2008

Bog Haunter Wednesday was Dragonfly Day at a fen in Washington County. There we encountered one of Vermon'ts rarest insects, Ebony Boghaunter (pictured to the right). This tiny dark dragonfly is known from only three sites in the state. We also found the following other dragonflies on the wing (with a few photo links):

Eastern Forktail
Dusky Clubtail
Beaverpond Clubtail
American Emerald
Four-spotted Skimmer
Chalk-fronted Corporal
Hudsonian Whiteface
Belted Whiteface

Other notable sightings included Canadian Tiger Swallowtail, Mustard White, Spring Azure and Brown Elfin.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

May 25 , 2008

A short walk by the Community Gardens, in search of an Indigo Bunting heard singing during lunch, produced some nice birds... however no buntings. Chestnut-sided Warblers were seen in the tall trees along the river, along with the sounds of House Wrens, Great Crested Flycatcher, and Song Sparrows singing loudly in the vicinity. A Ruby-throated Hummingbird whizzed by, as we searched some thickets for a singing Alder Flycatcher. A Gray Catbird danced in the branches, and a Yellow Warbler collecting nesting material was seen on the way back to the building. Even a ten-minute walk can reveal wonderous things.

Friday, May 23, 2008

May 23 , 2008

The spring bird walk today at Cow Pasture in Barre yielded a number of surprises. The first noteworthy sighting was that of three Field Sparrows, which are quite uncommon in Central Vermont. Nashville Warbler and Indigo Bunting were some other notables. Lastly, as the group was on its way out, a Peregrine Falcon flew over the road near Hope Cemetery, and then a female Merlin was seen calling... perhaps she was nesting nearby?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22 , 2008

Today, we had the first Spotted Sandpiper of the year by the bridge... a treat for our afterschool birding. Also heard was an American Redstart.

Monday, May 19, 2008

May 19 , 2008

May is certainly a busy time for conservation folk and outdoors-lovers, and the e-news has been somewhat neglected as of late. A rainy afternoon seems the perfect time to retroactively post some of the events of the past several weeks. We'll start with some sightings from last week: Kingbirds have been active in the field, and Baltimore Orioles have been visiting the feeders. On Thursday, a pair of Bobolinks were seen singing from the fields. Flowers are blooming, and creatures continue to wake up/return from a long winter

Friday, May 16, 2008

May 16 , 2008

The bird walk this morning at Hubbard Park yielded a fine variety of Warblers, which are becoming increasingly difficult to see as the leaves return, but our keen ears and eyes turned up twenty-three species:
Pileated Woodpecker White-breasted Nuthatch Black-throated Green Warbler
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Winter Wren Blackburnian Warbler
Eastern Phoebe Veery Pine Warbler
Red-eyed Vireo Hermit Thrush American Redstart
Blue Jay American Robin Ovenbird
American Crow Northern Parula Scarlet Tanager
Black-capped Chickadee Black-throated Blue Warbler American Goldfinch
Red-breasted Nuthatch Yellow-rumped Warbler

Sunday, May 11, 2008

May 11 , 2008

Late this evening, a group of teens and chaperones arrived back from the World Series of Birding, in Cape May County, New Jersey. This birding marathon, which NBNC youths have participated in eight years since 1999, is a 24-hour event in which every minute is spent looking and listening for birds. After a day and a half of scouting, the team competed Saturday, May 10th and saw/heard 154 different species, ranking fifth in the Cape May County Division. Some highlights included a Ruby-throated Hummingbird mobbing an Indigo Bunting, the now famous Red-headed Woodpecker, and five Bald Eagles seen over the course of the day. A complete list, pictures, and short essays will be available shortly in the Youth Birding section.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

World Series of Birding

NBNC teens competed for the eighth time since 1999 in the World Series of Birding competition in New Jersey. For 24-straight hours, we looked for and listened to every tweet and twitter of avian life in Cape May County. Hearing the Chuck-will's-widow at quarter-to-midnight, our team raced to the finish line, having seen or heard 154 species in the day, and ranking fifth in our division. In addition, we expect our team to have raised $5,000 for youth birding programs at NBNC. A complete checklist is below. Birds seen during the scouting day, but not the competition, include Black Skimmer, Yellow-billed Cuckoo and Meadowlark.
Muse Swan Short-billed Dowitcher Marsh Wren
Snow Goose American Woodcock Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Brant Laughing Gull Eastern Bluebird
Canada Goose Ring-billed Gull Veery
Wood Duck Herring Gull Wood Thrush
Gadwall Great Black-backed Gull American Robin
American Black Duck Gull-billed Tern Gray Catbird
Mallard Royal Tern Northern Mockingbird
Blue-winged Teal Common Tern Brown Thrasher
Black Scoter Forster's Tern European Starling
Red-breasted Merganaser Least Tern Cedar Waxwing
Wild Turkey Mourning Dove Nashville Warbler
Common Looon Rock Pigeon Northern Parula
Northern Gannet Black-billed Cuckoo Yellow Warbler
Double-crested Cormorant Eastern Screech-Owl Chestnut-sided Warbler
Great Blue Heron Great Horned Owl Magnolia Warbler
Great Egret Barred Owl Black-throated Blue Warbler
Snowy Egret Common Nighthawk Yellow-rumped Warbler
Little Blue Heron Chuck-will's-widow Black-throated Green Warbler
Tricolored Heron Whip-poor-will Pine Warbler
Cattle Egret Chimney Swift Prairie Warler
Black-crowned Night-Heron Ruby-throated Hummingbird Black-and-white Warbler
Glossy Ibis Belted Kingfisher American Redstart
Black Vulture Red-headed Woodpecker Prothonotary Warbler
Turkey Vulture Red-bellied Woodpecker Worm-eating Warbler
Osprey Downy Woodpecker Ovenbird
Bald Eagle Hairy Woodpecker Louisiana Waterthrush
Red-tailed Hawk Northern Flicker Common Yellowthroat
Merlin Eastern Wood-Pewee Hooded Warbler
Peregrine Falcon Acadian Flycatcher Yellow-breasted Chat
Clapper Rail Eastern Phoebe Scarlet Tanager
Sora Great Crested Flycatcher Eastern Towhee
Black-bellied Plover Eastern Kingbird Chipping Sparrow
Semipalmated Plover White-eyed Vireo Field Sparrow
Piping Plover Red-eyed Vireo Savannah Sparrow
Killdeer Purple Martin Seaside Sparrow
American Oystercatcher Gree Swallow Song Sparrow
Greater Yellowlegs Northern Rough-winged Swallow White-throated Sparrow
Lesser Yellowlegs Bank Swallow Northern Cardinal
Solitary Sandpiper Cliff Swallow Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Willet Barn Swallow Blue Grosbeak
Spotted Sandpiper Blue Jay Indigo Bunting
Whimbrel American Crow Bobolink
Ruddy Turnstone Fish Crow Red-winged Blackbird
Red Knot Carolina Chickadee Boat-tailed Grackle
Sanderling Tufted Titmouse Common Grackle
Semipalmated Sandpiper White-breasted Nuthatch Brown-headed Cowbird
Least Sandpiper Brown Creeper Orchard Oriole
Purple Sandpiper Carolina Wren House Finch
Dunlin House Wren American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 9 , 2008

The bird walk this morning was at Sodom Pond, in Adamant, where highlights included Canada Goose, an American Bittern fly-over, Blue Jay, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Red-winged Blackbird, and Baltimore Oriole. A distant flock of shorebirds was also seen, but could not be identified.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 2 , 2008

Clear skies were welcomed on this cold, May morning for our second Spring Bird Walk, which took place at Berlin Pond. Our list is shown below:

Common Loon (pair)
Canada Goose (at least 6)
Wood Duck (pair)
Mallard (pair)
Green-winged Teal (3)
Hooded Merganser (at least 6)
Turkey Vulture
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
American Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Swamp Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Goldfinch

Also seen around Berlin Pond before and after the walk were American Robin, European Starlings, and Yellow-rumped Warblers.