Sunday, January 10, 2010

Birding in Burlington Area with Peter

Yesterday I birded up in the Burlington area with a friend and fellow birder from VLS. We headed up to Burlington Intervale to start our day, where there are steaming piles of compost that birds enjoy. Probably both to pick through for food, and for the heat they give off. There we got two Glaucous Gulls, and saw a handful of red-tailed hawks sitting on the warm compost heaps.
Snow Bunting in with a Horned Lark flock.
Then we headed to the breakwater, where we saw Iceland gulls sitting on the breakwater with Greater Black-backed Gulls. Got my state mallards ;) and saw some common mergansers.
Lapland Longspur.
After grabbing a sandwich we headed toward the agricultural lands south of Burlington, where our target species were longspurs and buntings. We pulled off and walked a few feet onto a farm where we got some good looks at snow buntings in a flock of horned larks, before the farmer came up and questioned us.
We continued driving around the ag lands for the rest of the afternoon, and were rewarded with good looks at a lapland longspur on the ground next to our car. We struck out on rough-legged hawks, the species Peter guaranteed we'd see, hehe. It's okay, I'll have more opportunities this winter to try for them.
Hoping to go snowshoeing early next week before classes start back up again.

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