Friday, November 9, 2012

VT - Redpolls and Goshawks - 11/09

This morning I traded my usual 'tour' of Barton Cove for a visit to Putney Mountain in Vermont. There I joined a band of dedicated hawk counters hoping for a decent push of south-bound raptors after the recent nor'easter. It also happened to be the last official count day of the season which may have been telling in the small number of migrant raptors seen. In the event, my personal tally was a mere half-a-dozen Red-tailed Hawks over a two hour period. But the morning did yield some goodies, namely two fairly prolonged sightings of Northern Goshawk, a species which I only very rarely encounter in Massachusetts - averaging about one per year over the last five years or so. Two birds in one morning was pretty mind blowing for me but my field companions seemed quite used to them.

Irruptive finches also featured with five Common Redpolls (1, 4), a Pine Siskin and a superb male White-winged Crossbill. Also, apparently I missed a male Pine Grosbeak which passed the mountain about an hour before I arrived. Very much in keeping with irruptive finches, I had my first-of-season Common Redpolls over our house in Gill this morning which, unfortunately, did not come into the Nyjer seed feeders though they did look 'interested' for a brief period.

Northern Goshawk - (adult) - A real 'beast' of a raptor with stocky proportions and tapered wing tips. 
This bird looks especially heavy and it appears to have a full crop. 
Putney Mountain, VT. November 9th, 2012.

Northern Goshawk - (adult) - A second bird.. Putney Mountain, VT. November 9th, 2012.

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