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.