Seemingly a big day for Evening Grosbeaks on November 18th, beginning at dawn with 30 (11, 19) leaving a roost in Gill along with 2,500 American Robins! The Robins departed north-east while the grosbeaks headed south-west. Later in the morning, whilst scouting for the Saxtons River CBC with Laura Gaudette and JoAnne Russo in southern Vermont, two more single Evening Grosbeaks and then finally a single over the Turner's Falls power canal towards the end of the day. The previous day, Nov 17th, I stumbled across three Evening Grosbeaks including two males near Gill Center. Without doubt, this's the best autumn that I've had for this species locally since we moved to Franklin County in 2010.
Evening Grosbeak - fem/imm Rockingham, Windham Co., VT. November 18th, 2016.
Southern Vermont also yielded my first Northern Shrike of the fall, again with Laura Gaudette and JoAnne Russo, this bird being a lovely brown, and very vocal, immature. There was also a smart, unusually marked male American Robin with white wing coverts (creating a white wing panel) which stood out from the rest of the foraging group of 20 or so birds.
Northern Shrike - first-winter, Rockingham, Windham Co., VT. November 18th, 2016.
American Robin - male, Rockingham, Windham Co., VT. November 18th, 2016.
Predators in Gill this week included several Barred Owls and a nice, late, American Kestrel.
American Kestrel - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 17th, 2016.
The middle of the week saw the departure of the well watched Mountain Bluebird at Turner's Falls airport. This highly attractive western passerine brought so much pleasure to its admirers and was a 'life bird' for some.
Mountain Bluebird - first-winter male, Turner's Falls, Franklin Co., MA. November 16th, 2016.
The first for Franklin County and the Pioneer Valley, and about the tenth state record overall.