AMERICAN KESTREL GETS THE WORM !

I was watching a female Kestrel fly to a rooftop where it seemed to be watching a Robin. Suddenly it descended on the Robin, and I expected trouble for both birds, since a Robin is mighty big prey for a Kestrel. They are about the same size.  So I was surprised to see the Kestrel on the ground alone.  Then it flew up to a telephone wire…with the Robin’s worm!  After a (presumably) tasty meal, she flew off. I later saw the robin in the same space, apparently searching for a new meal .

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Posted in American Kestrel, Bird Photographs

RED-THROATED LOON in VERMONT

This Red-throated Loon is a rare bird here in the White River Junction area of Vermont. It has been fishing at the Wilder Dam outlet where the water is open, perhaps a bit warm, and fish are churned up. Bald Eagles hunt here too, so this Loon is very wary.  This appears to be a non-breeding plumage bird- sex unknown.  I watched it for about 20 minutes today, and got photos of it taking off, and  flying around. Like all Loons, it needed an extensive runway and much foot-paddling before it was air-borne. It landed downstream a ways. I suspect it saw something I didn’t- just a few mallards flying by.

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Posted in Bird Photographs, Red-throated Loon

BARRED OWL VISITOR

My daughter spotted this Barred Owl in our yard today. It flew all around trying to catch red squirrels. Last seen perched on a low branch near a tunnel hole, waiting for a squirrel, or maybe a mouse to appear. Hope it gets something!

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Posted in Barred Owl, Bird Photographs

HAWK ATTACK!

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I found a pile of Blue Jay feathers in the snow right near my house today. Soon after I saw the culprit- a Cooper’s Hawk, I believe. Quite the drama!

Posted in Bird Photographs, Cooper's Hawk Tagged , |

CATTLE EGRET-a very rare visitor in Vermont

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This bird was only here one day that we know of-a fellow birder, Kyle Jones, found it on his farm in Royalton, Vermont. I was lucky enough to get there just before dark to see and photograph this beautiful bird.

 

Posted in Bird Photographs, Cattle Egret Tagged , |

Peregrine Falcon-Immature

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Immature Peregrine Falcon

An exciting view today of an immature Peregrine Falcon at Dewey’s Mills Pond in Quechee Vermont. It flew overhead and through a flock of Mourning Doves in a tree. Missed!  Then it flew across the river where it encountered several crows. A chase ensued, seemingly with the crow chasing the Falcon, then the falcon chasing the crow.  (The last picture is a crow fleeing from the Peregrine.)

Posted in Bird Photographs Tagged |

Evening Grosbeak Gallery

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We have had a wonderful flock of Evening Grosbeaks at home in Vermont this summer. I think there have been two successful  broods in some cases. The assortment of colors and degrees of maturity or molt is amazing. As I was taking these pictures yesterday, one immature bird landed on the porch rail, not more than a foot from my face. It gave me “the eye”, and went on to sip water drops and forage for tiny bits of—who knows what. Only a phone call interrupted our happy encounter.  

Posted in Bird Photographs, Evening Grosbeak Tagged , |

Amazing and Unusual Bird Sightings in Vermont May 23 2014

After a big rainstorm here, we had quite a “fallout” of birds that are almost never seen in mid-state on the eastern side of Vermont. First up are the “Redheads”.  Although a Pileated Woodpecker is common here, it is not some common to see one up close. This one was excavating an old log on the bank of the Ompompanoosuc River, and ignored me as I approached him.  (first 2 photos). The second bird is a Red-Headed Woodpecker.  Last seen in this area around 2004-2005, according to Vermont ebird reports. (second 2 photos)

Next we see about 50 Dowitchers on the Ompompanosuc river- another rare occasion. (one photo).  Then on the V.A. Hospital Grounds in Hartford, Vt., a Northern Wheatear appeared in the parking lot, creating a major sensation amongst local birders. (Three photos). This bird lives in the far north-has been noted in Greenland, and migrates to Africa> How it got here is a mystery!

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

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Posted in Bird Photographs, Dowitchers, Northern Wheatear, Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker Tagged |

Swainson’s Thrush

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Continue reading »

Posted in Bird Photographs

Solitary Sandpipers-Sharpie Attack!

I was watching two Solitary Sandpipers chase each other around a beaver pond nearby. Maybe they were the same two I saw fighting there last year!  (Not likely). Anyway, one landed, and swoosh!  A sharp-shinned Hawk tried to get the sandpiper. (Pretty sure the hawk wasn’t a Cooper’s Hawk-smallish, small head, long tail….). So… no luck. The hawk landed in a tree and sulked  for a few moments before moving on. Funny thing. No sandpipers in sight.

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Posted in Bird Photographs, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Solitary Sandpiper Tagged , |

Horned Grebe in Vermont-Spring Migration

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This lone Horned Grebe came fairly close for some pleasing shots at the Wilder Dam Boat Launch in Wilder, Vermont on May 1 2014.

Posted in Bird Photographs Tagged |

Red Crossbill in Vermont

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An unusual sighting for this time of year. Probably a pair, feeding 2 young. Only got 1 picture, of the female. This was taken at Dewey’s Mills pond in Quechee Vermont, May 1, 2014. Discovered by George Clark and Ed Hack.

Posted in Bird Photographs, Red Crossbill

Amazing!! Home “Vernal Pool”??

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I have a very small artificial pool that my daughter cleaned out a few days ago. This morning (April 23, 2014) we found an incredible sight in the bottom, where there was just a little water. We started adding some mud, rocks and “”Ramps” so they could hide or get out. Not sure how much water to put in there or what to do next.

Posted in Amphibians, Vernal Pool in Vermont

Great Egret fishing with Common Mergansers in Vermont

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I was amused to see a scene unfold at Lake Runnemede  in Windsor, Vermont today. A Great Egret was fishing along the shore when it spied 2 Common Mergansers rapidly diving and fishing nearby. It immediately flew over to them and watched intently, presumably to snatch or catch a fish from them. No luck- they quickly swam away.

Posted in Bird Photographs Tagged |

More Spring Migrants in Vermont

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The Loon is a distant view, but it is very unusual in Vermont. The red-breasted Merganser is also quite unusual, but had better close-up views. Lake Runnemede in Windsor, Vermont. 4/18/2014

Posted in Bird Photographs, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-throated Loon