Gale, Nancy, Lynn, Jim, and Eric met at the North Avenue shopping Center at 6:00 a.m.  It’s overcast and cloudy, about 53 degrees, with gusty winds. We walked over to Ethan Allen Park and started our count with a ROBIN, CROW, GRACKLE, PIGEON, RING-BILLED GULL, CARDINAL, HOUSE SPARROW, MORNING DOVE, STARLING, BLUE JAY, FLICKER, HAIRY WOODPECKER, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH, CHICKADEE, REDSTART, RED-EYED VIREO, and MALLARD. The birds got more interesting when we wandered out of the park into the neighborhood yard with the paved path near one of our Warbler Hotspots: GRAY CATBIRD, HOUSE WREN, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, MAGNOLIA WARBLER, GOLDFINCH, CHIPPING SPARROW, HOUSE FINCH, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, and a pair of INDIGO BUNTINGS. When we stepped back into the park, we got good looks at both a BAY BREASTED and TENNESSEE WARBLER in one of our Warbler Trees. We also heard or saw a TUFTED TITMOUSE, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH, BROWN CREEPER, PILEATED WOODPECKER, PARULA WARBLER, and GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. At 10:00 a.m. we left Ethan Allen Park and drove over to Ethan Allen Homestead. Our first stop was the parking area near the gate to see what might be hanging around the marsh: RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, EASTERN KINGBIRD, SONG SPARROW, DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, YELLOW WARBLER, WARBLING VIREO, BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, RED-TAILED HAWK. By 10:30 a.m. we were walking toward the Howe Farm: ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK, BALTIMORE ORIOLE, CANADA GEESE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.  Got to the Howe Farm at 11:00: CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, LEAST FLYCATCHER, HERRING GULL, GREAT BLUE HERON, SWAMP SPARROW, OSPREY, TREE SWALLOW, (heard TOAD SONGS coming from the pond here), TURKEY VULTURE, DOWNY WOODPECKER, got a good look at a CASPIAN TERN (!), which was a new species for our master list, KINGFISHER, PHOEBE, GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. Left the Howe Farm at 12:30 p.m., having determined that there are only two ponds in what I had been thinking was a chain of four or five. Stopped at one of the Ethan Allen Homestead picnic tables to eat lunch. When we started shifting around on the attached benches to take turns going to the restroom, somehow I wound up alone on one side of the table, and when Nancy came back from the restroom and began to sit down next to me, the table flipped up and left me with my back on the ground and the rest of me still sitting at the table, which was cocked up at a 90 degree angle. I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t extricate myself–certainly one of the more exciting things that has happened to us during our 18 years of patrolling this area for birds. After lunch, we started birding the Ethan Allen Homestead fields, river banks, floodplain forest, and marsh boardwalk: SAVANNAH SPARROW, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. At the end of a long day, we decided to count the CHIMNEY SWIFTS we heard and saw flying over the Peking Duck, where we went for dinner.

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