Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spring Migrants at Herrick's Cove

ruby-crowned kinglet
One of the smallest songbirds, the ruby-crowned kinglet has been singing up a storm this spring. His song starts out with 4 or 5 high pitched notes, followed by a warbling repertoire of sounds that only gets louder as he sings!

Ruby-crowned posing pretty!
Our other kinglet, the golden-crowned (click on the link to read my posting), is around in the winter. Only hummingbirds are smaller than these songbirds.

Herrick's Cove is a favorite stop for osprey, where they can be observed hanging in the air or "kiting" over the water, then diving, feet first, for a fish.

great blue heron
Another common bird is the great blue heron, showing how he tucks his long neck when he flies.


Here's a cool fact about buffleheads; they nest almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers.

palm warbler
Palm warblers are quite common in the spring, with their rusty colored caps and habit of bobbing their tail.

northern flicker
This flicker is probably looking for ants, its preferred food.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Snowy Owl in April!

 There was a report of a snowy owl in North Springfield, Vermont yesterday, not too far from home. We found it quite easily at the corner of route 106 and route 10, perched on a white fence, exactly where it had been reported!.

Sitting not more than 40 feet from the busy intersection, the owl seemed pretty relaxed and not affected by the noise of the traffic.

We didn't even get out of the car, certainly didn't want to spook it. The owl sat on the post for a while, then flew even closer to us!

Gerry just held his finger on the shutter. The camera has a "burst" mode and takes 8 frames per second! A snowy's wingspan is between 4.2 and 4.8 feet.

It's usually a rare site to see a snowy owl, but this winter and spring, these beautiful birds of the Arctic tundra are still around!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ross's Goose

Snow Goose and Ross's Goose

I read the Vermont list serve (reports bird sightings) and saw that Ken Cox had just reported seeing a Ross's Goose at the waste water treatment plant in Charlestown, New Hampshire. I jumped in the car and raced over there!! The Ross's was still present with 15 snow geese.

A small, white goose with black wingtips, the Ross's Goose is a miniature version of the more abundant Snow Goose. It breeds in the central Arctic and winters primarily in central California, but is becoming more frequent farther east.