Wednesday, December 2, 2015

VT - Townsend's Solitaire in Dummerston - 12/01/15

 Townsend's Solitaire - private residence, Dummesrton, VT. December 2nd, 2015. Present for its second day when this image was taken in dull, misty conditions. 
Fourth state record if accepted by the VBRC. Images shared with permission.

Every once in a while the Connecticut River Valley throws up a bird observation that really captures my imagination. This morning I received word of a Townsend's Solitaire that visited a private yard in Dummerston yesterday afternoon (12/01/15). That's not too far, as the solitaire might fly, from my home in Northfield, MA. Moreover, it's been a species that I've often thought of finding in Gill/Turner's Falls at the right time of year. Well, this is certainly the right time of year and it's discovery has me excited and motivated to go out and check some fruiting Eastern Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana), the preferred food plant of this bird in Dummerston. Indeed, as Brian Kane mentioned today, all four East Coast Townsend's Solitaire's that he's seen over the years have been closely associated with Eastern Red Cedar.

Townsend's Solitaires are exceedingly rare in deepest interior New England and I've yet to find one in the Pioneer Valley despite having it on my radar every fall. Kudos to the finder for this discovery and for providing unambiguous documentation. With perhaps fewer than five documented records for Vermont this is a rare bird indeed - what a great find!

Townsend's Solitaire - private residence, Dummerston, Windham Co., VT. December 1st, 2015. 
Images shared with permission. Potentially the 4th state record if accepted by the VBRC. 

Townsend's Solitaire - private residence, Dummesrton, VT. December 2nd, 2015.

1 comment:

JRandSue said...

Well done James,great tick.