55 degrees F at 5:55 a.m.: It was muggy and humid this morning. Lots of clouds and a bit of wind. I heard a DEER SNORTING across from Buffy’s. I always thought that was a male deer making some kind of public announcement, but Bob told me it’s the female who makes that sound as a warning to her fawn. Otherwise not much sound or activity this morning. No stars or moon either. Oh well, at least I took my walk.

ROAD TRIP TO THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM: Bob’s been talking about wanting to drive up to the Northeast Kingdom, so we decided to go today. It was a LONG DRIVE…. I routed us to Island Pond by way of Montpelier and St. Johnsbury, which is the longest way I could have chosen. Next time we’ll go straight up Route 100, then to Craftsbury and cross country from there.

When we got to Island Pond, we took the South America Pond Road way down into the Wenlock and West Mountain Wildlife Management Areas. Lots of wild country, but no birds. To visit Moose Bog, we would have had to walk a distance and we were too tired to hike, so I drove us back to Island Pond and got Bob some ice cream as a consolation gift. Then we drove home by way of East Charleston, over the mountain to Westmore/Lake Willoughby, then to Orleans, Irasburg, Lowell, and all the way down Route 100 back to Waterbury. It was a long and tiring day, but I enjoyed spending it with Bob.


Bob had his second cataract removed July 6, so I’ve missed a few days of my morning walks. He’s supposed to be taking it easy, so I thought it might be fun to drive over to Dead Creek today, in part to be in the air-conditioned car, in part to check out the water level to see if we might be able to look for early shorebirds when they start migrating through. The water at Brilyea was high, and we saw nothing but a few GULLS and GREAT BLUE HERONS, so we decided to visit some other areas for old times’ sake. We drove all the way around the Refuge to the Farrell Access and Stone Bridge Dam. The water was high everywhere, and we didn’t see many birds, but at the Stone Bridge Dam we did see TREE SWALLOWS, maybe even some that nested in our neighborhood and left for the Lake Champlain marshes earlier in July. It was nice to visit these old haunts with Bob, who used to bring me down here to go canoeing in the early days. That was a LONG time ago — 34 years going on 35 years!

We’re at CORKSCREW SWAMP in search of a LIMPKIN (while Bob is still trying to pass his KIDNEY STONE and is very definitely growing a BEARD). Nothing but a LITTLE BLUE HERON at Station #55. Near the Lookout Tower, we saw a pair of CARDINALS, TUFTED TITMICE, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, and a CAROLINA WREN. From the Tower we saw a WHITE-EYED VIREO. We saw a BARRED OWL between the two lettuce gardens.