August 2009

4:00 p.m. It’s a cold, dark, damp day in Huntington, but I need to take a walk. Guess I’ll seize this opportunity to wander around in my own woods. When I was walking along the edge of the Retreat toward the woods, I startled a WHITE-TAILED DOE and her FAWN. They bounded off in the direction of Lady’s Slipper Knoll. I decided to drop down to Blood’s Chute from this side today, and when I got there I decided to work my way over the rocks and roots down to the bottom of it. I’ve never looked UP this chute before. It’s interesting from this angle. There are some nice potholes down here, and the pool the water flows into is crystal clear. Maybe I’ll come down here again when the weather is better sometime — or when it’s raining and the brook is running high? Just below the pool a big HEMLOCK with a split trunk looks ready to fall across the brook. I’ll have to watch for when it happens. 4:50 p.m. It’s raining. Time to head home after an interesting walk on a dreary day.


1:00 p.m. in Winooski. At the cascades there are 6 BROWN DUCKS hanging out with the GULLS today. As I continued along the Riverwalk, I saw 2 GREAT BLUE HERONS fly out of the lagoon and over the river. One headed upstream, and the other looped around and flew back into the lagoon. I looked for it but didn’t see it when I got to the lagoon. I did see a KINGFISHER (I think) as I was scanning the perimeter. The bird was hidden by leaves and wasn’t making any noise, so I can’t be sure, but I saw some blue and white. Could it have been a silent BLUE JAY? I’m hearing a CATBIRD. Decided to hike around the marsh today. Saw a PHOEBE by the I-89 bridge.  At 1:35 p.m. I’m starting on the trail that skirts the marsh. At 1:40 p.m. I got to the clearing under the power lines. Heard 2 CATBIRDS. Some CEDAR WAXWINGS flew overhead just as I got to the far side of the clearing. When I entered the woods, I heard and caught a glimpse of an agitated PILEATED WOODPECKER. At 1:50 p.m. I got to the open water. Didn’t see any ducks today. At 1:55 p.m. I got to Route 15. So it takes about 20 minutes to walk the marsh trail and about 45 minutes to walk from the cascades to the Route 15 parking lot.

Bob saw a MOURNING CLOAK flying around the Museum parking lot today.

Started out on a late afternoon walk at 5:00 p.m. Saw 10 WOOD DUCKS on Bob’s Pond, a BLUEBIRD at the Enmans (#1361), and a VICEROY near Wendall’s (#1278).

There were 7 WOOD DUCKS on Bob’s Pond when I hiked up there to check things out at 4:30 p.m. on a hot muggy day. They were all brown. One might have been the mother, but I couldn’t tell which one. Some seemed to be beginning to look a bit like males already. Hard to tell, and they flushed before I could study them.

1:30 p.m. in Winooski. It’s overcast and breezy this afternoon. Both CEDAR WAXWINGS and SWALLOWS are flying over the cascades. I’m not sure what kind of swallows they are because they’re moving too fast for me to see field marks. There are 3 BROWN DUCKS (probably MALLARDS) and two CROWS out on the rocks with the GULLS today, and a FLOCK OF PIGEONS just flew over. Just spotted a BARN SWALLOW TAIL on one of the swallows, so I guess at least some of them are barn swallows. CHIMNEY SWIFTS flying over the apartments — or are they condos? — again. LOTS of birds today. A GREAT BLUE HERON flew up from the far end of the lagoon. There’s also a BROWN DUCK back there. I’m hearing GOLDFINCHES and CATBIRDS as usual. Spotted 2 KINGBIRDS perched in a dead WILLOW near the lagoon end of the marsh. I also saw TWO FLOCKS OF BLACK BIRDS perched in two different dead trees near the electric meter along the construction road. Can’t tell whether they’re REDWINGS or STARLINGS in this light and at this distance. From glimpses of some tails, I’m going to guess they’re REDWINGS.

1:00 in Winooski on a hot, sunny, steamy day. I’m headed down the back construction road to take a quick look at the upper end of the lagoon. I can hear an agitated KINGBIRD flying around the lagoon area. Saw a MOURNING DOVE on the road. Heard a BLUE JAY fussing and looked up to see what it might be fussing at — a RED-TAILED HAWK! I see the small heron again. It’s perched absolutely still on a thin branch about a foot or two above the water. I saw light yellow-green legs, maybe some dark green on the head along with some chestnut, streaks on the front of the neck, and speckled brown on the body. I finally checked my field guide and learned that it’s an IMMATURE GREEN HERON. Heard or saw ROBINS, GOLDFINCHES, and a CATBIRD, and eard and saw a KINGFISHER fly by. On my way back to my car, I heard and saw a flock of CHIMNEY SWIFTS flittering and twittering overhead above some of the new apartment buildings.

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