Friday, November 4, 2016

Vermont/New York

Ed Gaillard: recent &emdash; Covered Bridge, Charlotte VT
Don't strain your eyes, there's no bird in this photo (Covered Bridge, Charlotte VT)

Elena and I went to Vermont last weekend to visit some dear old friends who live right by the shore of Lake Champlain. We had a great time! It wasn't great birding weather, but we did get some in.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Horned Grebes, Lake Champlain
Grebes a crowd

There were a lot of Horned Grebes right offshore--just a little too far to get really good photos in the overcast light. I hadn't realized that Grebes were so social--they were typically in groups of three to five birds, with some groups up to eight.

Raptors were romping along the shore, too--Red-Tailed Hawks, Northern Harrier, Rough-Legged Hawk (lifer!). There were Ravens around as well, who sometimes chased the hawks or were chased by them.

I also spent a couple of hours at the Charlotte Park and Wildlife Refuge, which is just beautiful and I recommend it to anyone who goes to that part of the state. I had some noce close views of Hairy Woodpeckers, and watched a Cooper's Hawk chasing a flock of Robins.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Turkey Vulture, Charlotte VT
"Here's the world-famous vulture sitting in a tree"

On our way to the airport Sunday morning, we saw this Turkey Vulture just hanging out in a tree by the road. Some might think that's a bad omen, but not me.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Blackpoll Warbler, Central Park

We actually got home early enough that I went over to Central Park in the afternoon to look for the Yellow-Breasted Char that's been at Sparrow Rock (near Tanner's Spring) for a week or so. I had tried several times to see it in the mornings before work and failed, and Sunday continued the streak. I've dipped several times in a year on a species of bird pretty often, but this is the first time I've dipped on the same individual bird five times. But I was consoled by a very cooperative Blackpoll Warbler.

Ed Gaillard: birds &emdash; Blackpoll Warbler, Central Park
Blackpoll and berry

I did eventually catch up with the Chat this week--for about ten seconds, and couldn't get a photo in focus. Oh well. Bird's still there as of Friday afternoon, so I may have more chances to miss it again.

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