May 2009


4:30 p.m. Decided to hike down to BLOOD’S CHUTE, cross the brook there, and circle back home by way of my Retreat, but the water was too high. After all the rain we’ve been having, the brook was boiling. So I paused to watch and listen–I do love the sound of moving water, even at this volume–and then climbed the steep bank to my Twin Trees, where I stopped to rest, but the ground was too wet to sit there very long. I continued up to the plateau between the two gullies and on up to the road near my old green boundary stake. Home at 5:00 p.m.

5:40 p.m.: I heard a SCARLET TANAGER singing behind my house. I stepped outdoors to look for it, and it moved from its hiding spot in the tallest maple on the back bank to an open perch on a smaller yellow birch. It’s now moving around and singing from various trees. I wonder if it’s nesting in one of them?

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4:30 on a cool gray, damp afternoon: Walking up the road, I noticed BUTTERCUPS in bloom. The sun suddenly came out and I saw a COTTONTAIL RABBIT sitting absolutely still at the end of Buffy’s driveway.

Saw a FOX dash across the road toward the bottom of the Richmond Hill this afternoon at about 2:20 p.m.

11:00 a.m. A pair of BLUEBIRDS showed up at Bob’s birdhouses today! They were doing battle with a single HOUSE WREN when Bob came over to the house to get me. I went out with him to watch what was happening. The WREN was gone, and both BLUEBIRDS were moving from house to house, trying to decide which of the three they might want. I hope one of the houses suits them.

Berlin Pond, sunny and cool, Memorial Day bird walk with Rebecca: KILLDEER, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, CHICKADEE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, LEAST FLYCATCHER, CROW, YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, FLICKER, WARBLING VIREO, ALDER FLYCATCHER, OVENBIRD, GRACKLE, CEDAR WAXWING, PARULA WARBLER, KINGBIRD, MALLARDS, ORIOLE, BROAD-WINGED HAWK, GOLDFINCH, CATBIRD, ROBIN, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER (hick, three beers), SWAMP SPARROW, TREE SWALLOW, CANADA GEESE, CHIMNEY SWIFTS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, VEERY, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, BARN SWALLOW, HERMIT THRUSH, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, BLUE JAY, REDSTART, WOOD PEWEE, RED-EYED VIREO, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH. We decided to swing by the airport too. It was really windy, but we heard or saw a SAVANNAH SPARROW, BOBOLINK, and RAVEN. Rebecca spotted a COMMON MERGANSER on our way into Montpelier for lunch. So we saw or heard 45 species. Great day, good company, good birds, time well spent. I’ll have to take Bob over to Berlin Pond sometime.

Bird walk around here with Craig, Holly, their friend Beverly, Bob, and Gale. It’s raining, but we’re going birding anyhow: ROBIN, BLUE JAY, NASHVILLE WARBLER, MOURNING DOVE, OVENBIRD, TUFTED TITMOUSE, SCARLET TANAGER, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, HUMMINGBIRD, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, CATBIRD, CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, VEERY, WOOD DUCK, HOUSE WREN, SONG SPARROW, TREE SWALLOW, GOLDFINCH, ORIOLE, GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, CHICKADEE, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, PHOEBE. Altogether we heard or saw 27 species of birds–plus a GRAY TREE FROG calling from somewhere in or near Bob’s Pond, BUMBLEBEES feeding on the honeysuckle, and lots of SUNDEWS looking red and sticky.

My neighbor Charlie’s feeders got hit by a BLACK BEAR last night, between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. He says the bear bent the poles and twisted and tore all his feeders apart.

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