Archive for June, 2006

Summer Songs

When we started coming up to Vermont on a regular basis, one of the sounds of summer I always looked forward to hearing when we got here was the song of the wood thrush and the hermit thrush.

For me these are the songs that really tell you warm weather is coming and/or here to stay for awhile. Living here full time means we get to hear their songs every day. I would love to be able to see them singing, but they are pretty good at blending in with the backgroud as you can see by their picture.

Have a great summer and enjoy the front and back half of the 4th of July weekend!

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Babies, Babies, Babies

Over the past week or so, it’s been a lot of fun listening to many customers come in and talk about the various fledging chicks they have been seeing. While the first clutch of bluebirds have been out for awhile (and take a look at this great bluebird family photo that a customer brought in on Saturday, June 24th), there have been lots of reports of babies getting their wings (pun intended)

A couple of our own experiences. Driving into work the other day, I had a mother Ruffed Grouse herding her chicks across the street right outside of town. As I slowly drove by, she gave me a full display, and was not too happy that I was passing this close to her chicks.

We also have a family of chickadees that took over one of our bluebird boxes with 3 or 4 chicks. They are so tiny it’s hard to tell how many are there, but we’ll check in on them this week to see how they are doing.

If you have any great baby bird stories or photos, please send them in!

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Bird Walk #2

With the help of local birding expert Ruth Stewart we had a great morning last Tuesday on the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas walk that we did here locally. The morning was a bit slow, but we did get a great look at a black-throated green warbler. A first real look for John, and my second.

Later in the morning, walking through a meadow right next to a pond, it was very difficult to keep up with the birds that surrounded us, but Ruth was calling them out by call, then view.

Among the ones we saw– yellow warbler, eastern meadowlark, cedar waxwing (a first seeing out in the field for both of us), tree swallows, belted kingfishers, canada goose, and for me… the coolest looking bird, the bobolink. Very accurately described by Ruth as a big bumble bee when seen from a distance.

Later in the day, John and I were walking along a marsh/bog and saw another first for us — an eastern kingbird. The motherload came for John a bit earlier in the day when we dropped my Jeep off for a quick repair. He finally got to see what he began to refer to as the mythological Baltimore Oriole. Well, there were at least 4 males flying around, calling, and oddly enough not even a half-mile from our house, where we have yet to have one visit our feeders.  That’s birding!

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See us at Hildene

The Bird Place is excited to be one of the vendors at the annual Uncommon Garden Market at Hildene, here in Manchester this weekend. It will be an exciting weekend, as Hildene (the summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln - only son of Abraham Lincoln to survive to adulthood who then went on to become chariman of the Pullman Car company) will be unveiling the restored gardens. Should be beautiful.

If you would like to know more about Hildene, then just click HERE>>

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Our own small birdwalk

We took a drive up the mountains this past Tuesday, just to see how well we could do on our own looking for birds. We did pretty well, though there were several that we saw but just could not identify. Practice makes perfect, so we’ll keep trying.

John had been suspicious about seeing any warblers, but we got two good views warblers that he can now count as life birds. First one was a blackburnian. A beautiful bird that I actually saw earlier in the spring, right off of our deck. The second was walking down a nice wooded trail where we spotted a black-throated blue. Many other birds were sighted, including John’s first view of a male wood duck, but all in all a very successful day.

We also heard many more than we saw, and frankly one of the hardest things to do is get the binoculars located to the spot where one second previous, you saw activity in the trees. Again, I’m sure with practice we’ll get better. In an event, it was a really nice morning activity.

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