Thursday, May 26, 2016

Recent Favorites

cerulean warbler
I can recall seeing my first cerulean warbler in college, at a cemetery, somewhere in Massachusetts. This recent sighting was the best view I ever had of one!

cerulean warbler
Cerulean warblers are usually found high up in the trees, flitting around constantly gleaning insects. We were pretty lucky this day that he found food in a shorter tree!

northern saw-whet owl
What a rare treat to have an owl, nest in a box in a easily viewed spot! So far two of these cute nestlings have been seen.

northern saw-whet owl
When we were there, he watched as cars and people walked and drove by. 

yellow-billed cuckoo

Saw this one fly in, a large bird, just bigger than a blue jay.

great crested flycatcher
You usually hear these birds before you see them, a very distinctive, very loud, upslurred WHEEP!

eastern wood-pewee
Easily identified by his song - peee-ah-weeeee!

indigo bunting
Nothing like the intense blue of this favorite!

warbling vireo
The song of the warbling vireo has a certain rhythm. Mnemonically it goes like this "if I see you, I will seize you, if I squeeze you, you will squirt". 

Canada warbler
Another pretty warbler that moves through our area on his way to breed in the north.

blue-winged warbler
Singing his beeee buzzzz song.

turkey vulture
Turkey vultures have an extraordinary sense of smell. They have been known to be able to smell carrion from over a mile away which is very unique in the bird world.

Friday, May 13, 2016

More Spring Arrivals

Baltimore Oriole
I love spring! All the birds in their most colorful plumage arrive to nest. This post looks like a study in orange (except for the kingbird). Enjoy!

Orchard Oriole

Gray Catbird

Eastern Kingbird

Barn Swallow

Eastern Towhee

Brown Thrasher

Hermit Thrush


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spring Warblers

Yellow Warbler
 I have a new camera, got it the beginning of the year and I love it. It's the Nikon Coolpix P900, it has an amazing zoom and it's pretty easy to use. Most of the time I use the "birdwatching" mode, I have yet to switch to the advanced settings. I still can't figure out what f-stops do even though Gerry explains them all the time! I just want to point and shoot. This is a great time of year to bird in Vermont! Enjoy the warblers!!

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumps are among the first warblers to show up in the spring, they are everywhere, but most are migrating through.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler (Yellow)
Palm warblers are early migrants too, first the yellow Palms arrive, followed by western Palms. Western Palms have whitish bellies.

Pine Warbler
You usually find Pine Warblers in pine trees! This one resides in our backyard.

Black-and-white Warbler
It's easy to find this warbler, he has a weezy weezy weezy song, sort of like a squeaky gate and he always scampers along the tree trunk and branches.

Common Yellowthroat
These warblers look like bandits, they sing a wichety wichety song and they like brushy areas near wetlands. They're pretty common at Herrick's Cove in Bellows Falls.

Black-throated Blue Warbler
This warbler is usually found in the woods. Both male and female have that white patch on the wing which is referred to as a handkerchief.

Yellow Warbler
Yellow warblers are so bright yellow, they really brighten up a dreary day and make you smile, especially as they sing "sweet, sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet!"
Most of these shots were taken at Herrick's Cove in Bellows Falls, in fact I've seen all these warblers and more there.


Monday, March 14, 2016

more Niagara Falls

We returned to Niagara Falls this past weekend for the opening of Gerry's show "Made of Thunder, Made of Glass II" at the Castellani Museum at Niagara University. Here's the links:
Castellani Museum and Facebook page 

lesser and great black-backed and ring-billed gulls
Of course, I immediately went over to the falls on arrival! The weather was great, hardly any snow and no wind. Lots of gulls and large rafts of ducks awaited me!

common goldeneye

Male common goldeneyes were doing their "dance" trying to impress the ladies.

common goldeneye


redheads and gadwalls
  I've never seen such large numbers of redheads, we're lucky to have 4 or 5 at one time in Vermont.

redheads, gadwalls and a bufflehead

redhead pair


tundra swans

ring-billed gulls and a lesser black-backed
It was nice to see gulls in breeding plumage and they were pretty noisy!

American herring gull

lesser black-backed gull

lesser black-backed gull

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cape Ann - from Gloucester to Rockport

Jodrey Pier, Gloucester
A favorite birding destination in the winter is Cape Ann, from Gloucester to Rockport, Massachusetts. I found this link to a map of birding spots along the way, most of which we hit. Thanks to Bryan Pfeiffer for posting this!

common eiders
We started at Gloucester Harbor, it was a brilliantly sunny day.

American herring gull

The most numerous birds were common eiders and herring and great black-backed gulls.

common loon

red-breasted merganser

surf scoter

great black-backed gull

purple sandpipers
The birds are plentiful but if the wind is blowing - it's brutal! If you go, dress warmly, bring lots of layers, even if the temperatures are above freezing as they were this day. 

purple sandpipers

harlequin ducks and a common eider

The harlequin ducks are fun to watch, they love to ride the waves and stay really close to the rocky shore.

harlequin ducks, a common eider and red-breasted merganser

redheads and mallards
We spent all day driving around the shoreline, finding lots of great birds. The worst part was getting there, we hit rush hour traffic coming and going! Still, it was a fabulous day of birding!