CATTLE EGRET-a very rare visitor in Vermont

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.


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Peregrine Falcon-Immature

peregrine.falcon.mourning.dove_2609.jpgImmature Peregrine FalconCrow chasing a Peregrine
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.)

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Evening Grosbeak Gallery


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.  

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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.

Pileated WoodpeckerPileated WoodpeckergRed-headed WoodpeckerRed-headed WoodpeckerDowitchersNorthern WheatearNorthern WheatearNorthern Wheatear

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Swainson’s Thrush

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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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Horned Grebe in Vermont-Spring Migration

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

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Red Crossbill in Vermont

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.

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Amazing!! Home “Vernal Pool”??

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

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.

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More Spring Migrants in Vermont

Red-breasted Merganser-maleRed-breasted Merganser-maleRed-breasted Merganser-malered-breasted.merganser_1696.jpgRed-throated Loon
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

Spring Migrants in Vermont-Mid-April 2014

Spring has finally come, although there is still snow on the ground here in Vermont. Here are a few of the birds seen in the last week or so.  The Ring-necked Ducks were close by, and it was one of the few times I’ve ever seen the rings around their necks.  The Gadwalls were far off, but I loved their flight patterns. Rusty Blackbirds are quite rare here- So glad to have seen these. A northern Harrier in Norwich, Vermont is not very common -they are seen mostly further north. The Northern Mockingbirds are  winter residents, but I only recently saw them.

I’ve also included a watercolor painting I just finished of a Northern Harrier about to take off that I saw at Dead Creek in Addison, Vermont

Click on the image to enlarge, click on the right of image to go to the next one.

Posted in Bird Photographs

Wild Turkeys Feeding the Deer

1. Turkeys in the tree02.turkeys.tree_7764.jpg03.turkeys.tree_7796.jpg04.turkeys.deer_7881.jpg05.turkeys.deer_7865.jpg06.turkeys.deer_7855.jpg07.deer.turkey_7923.jpg
Three Wild Turkeys were trying to get apples out of a tree. They dropped a lot. Then I noticed some more turkeys on the ground feasting on the drops. Then along came 4 deer for their share.


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Northern Harriers at Dead Creek in Vermont

The gray birds with black wing tips are the males, and the browner birds with spotting and streaking are the females. Juveniles look a lot like females.


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Northern Hawk Owl

This owl is also very rare in Vermont. It has been staying in the same area now, in Waterbury, Vermont, for several weeks, with many photo opportunities.

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