June 2009


On the early morning bird walk we hiked up tail behind the dorm in the direction of the Everett Mansion. We heard or saw a REDSTART, ROBIN, VEERY, DOWNY WOODPECKER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, CATBIRD, OVENBIRD, BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER, TUFTED TITMOUSE, WOOD THRUSH, PEWEE, and CHICKADEE. I decided to hike back down on my own and got a beautiful view of a SCARLET TANAGER perched on a leafless branch at the top of a tall tree. I also heard a BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER, MOURNING DOVE, RED-EYED VIREO, and SONG SPARROW. The weather forecast predicted more rain, so I decided to leave after breakfast. On my way home I stopped for a picnic lunch at a fishing access a little ways off Route 30. I couldn’t find the fishing access I vaguely remembered from old camping trips to Half Moon State park, so I turned off in the other direction and climbed uphill a ways to a small pond with a name that begins with a B.

I’m at Southern Vermont College in Bennington for Bird and Botanical’s Annual Meeting. Went on the early morning bird walk and dropped behind the group to poke along with Barbara Walling. We heard or saw RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, a WOOD THRUSH, GOLDFINCH, CEDAR WAXWING, YELLOW WARBLER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, SONG SPARROW, SCARLET TANAGER RED-EYED VIREO, CATBIRD, KILLDEER CHICKADEE, CROW, PURPLE FINCH, MOURNING DOVE, and HOUSE SPARROW. We also heard a BULLFROG croaking from the pond in front of the dorm.

After breakfast, I went on the field trip to the New England Tropical Conservancy. NETC is an odd organization that does most of its research in Indonesia but has ambitious plans for their property in Bennington. In the meantime, they have a big open green space with wetlands here and there and a corridor for the future Bennington bypass cutting right through it, a gravel road already in place. I hung out with Phillip Ballou because he always identifies the birds and butterflies as we poke along. On our way there he heard an INDIGO BUNTING and a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK. When we first got out of the car we heard a WOOD THRUSH. On the walk, we heard or saw a GOLDFINCH, SONG SPARROW, PHOEBE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, ROBIN, SWAMP SPARROW, MOURNING DOVE, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, GRAY CATBIRD, INDIGO BUNTING, WARBLING VIREO, YELLOW WARBLER, BARN SWALLOW, GRACKLE, VEERY, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, CARDINAL, KINGBIRD, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, TREE SWALLOW, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, BLUE JAYS, ALDER FLYCATCHER, and DOWNY WOODPECKER. Also Phillip caught an EASTERN COMMA in his butterfly net. We got rained on a bit, and I realized that my jacket was more of a windbreaker than a raincoat. I got soaked through. We went on to Shaftsbury State Park for our picnic lunch and our afternoon field trip. I stayed for the picnic, but I was cold and wet so I opted to leave when one driver decided to go back to campus. When it cleared I wandered around the campus, which has lots of trails. On my way up to the Everett Mansion I heard a REDSTART, PEWEE, AND BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER. Along the CARRIAGE ROAD, I heard a ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK and saw several RED EFTS. When I got back to the Mansion, I decided to hike up to the top of the fountain on the far side of the courtyard and heard an OVENBIRD there.

When I was in St. George this morning, I noticed that the CATTAILS look like they’re ready to release their pollen.

I noticed lots of CHICORY IN BLOOM along I-189 in South Burlington today. First I’ve seen this year.

Bob says he saw a WHITE ADMIRAL today–first of season.

11:00 a.m. On my way home from Richmond, I saw a DOE AND FAWN walking across one of the Moultroups’ meadows on the plateau above Henry’s riverbottom farm. A few minutes later, when I turned up Sherman Hollow, a RUFFED GROUSE dashed across the road right in front of me. 3:00 p.m. Took a walk up the road. I’m seeing YARROW, RED CLOVER, the purple flower that is either vetch or alfalfa, and DAISIES in bloom. Saw a DOE lying in the tall grass in the meadow across from the Saxtons’ house. She was looking straight at me. When I looked back at her through my binoculars, she got up and started bounding toward the woods. She had a FAWN with her, and it did its best to bound along behind her, but it was having some trouble with the tall grass. It had visible white spots on its back. MILKWEED is coming up. I saw one with buds already. Also saw some BLACKBERRIES in flower. CINNAMON FERNS have their spore stalks up. Some of Lisa’s APPLE TREES have SMALL APPLES coming already. SHAD PLUMS are coming, but they’re not ripe enough to eat yet. Saw four TREE SWALLOWS on the wires at Betty Charland’s (#1256). Noticed some SPITTLEBUG SPIT on the roadside weeds on my way home.

Saw a FIREFLY flashing outside my big kitchen window. This is the first one I’ve noticed this year, but I haven’t spent much time outdoors after dark.

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