Monday, June 3, 2013

Vermont 4000' Trip

Over the past 8 days I co-led an 8-day journey inspired by the adventures of some of the greatest naturalists from the past couple of centuries, particularly John Muir, Mark Twain, and Charles Darwin. Our journey began where Rte 15 intersects the Long Trail in Johnson. We climbed 4000 feet along the spine of the Green Mountains, postholing through 2 feet of snow at Mt Mansfield's peak and then drifting back down into the Winooski River Valley where we picked up our canoes and paddled our way to Lake Champlain. The trip covers about 85 miles of river and trail and traverses a wide variety of habitats and natural communities. We kept a list of wildlife species along the way, amassing a somewhat impressive list. As we're at the tail end of the migratory season for birds, we emphasized this taxon. At the end of the trip we had seen and/or heard 75 different species of birds (organized below by rough habitat description). Not bad!

Forest edge
  • Catbird
  • crow
  • robin
  • common yellowthroat
  • chestnut-sided warbler
  • turkey vulture

Mixed-hardwoods, lower elevation
  • Ovenbird
  • black-throated blue warbler
  • blue jay
  • winter wren
  • raven
  • mallard
  • black-capped chickadee
  • red-eyed vireo
  • hairy woodpecker
  • black-throated green warbler
  • white-throated sparrow

Coniferous
  • blackpoll warbler
  • red-breasted nuthatch
  • dark-eyed junco
  • hermit thrush
  • wood thrush
  • Bicknell's thrush
  • ruffed grouse
  • yellow rumped warbler
  • pileated woodpecker

River above Essex
  • song sparrow
  • Canada goose
  • veery
  • black & white warbler
  • belted kingfisher
  • turkey
  • bank swallow
  • osprey
  • cedar waxwing
  • American redstart
  • Baltimore oriole
  • kingbird
  • common merganser
  • bald eagle
  • red-winged blackbird
  • chimney swift
  • pigeon
  • mourning dove
  • common grackle
  • downy woodpecker
  • warbling vireo
  • yellow warbler
  • great blue heron 
  • ring-billed gull

River below Essex
  • titmouse
  • woodcock
  • indigo bunting
  • cardinal
  • double-crested cormorant
  • brant!! (first for me)
  • broad-winged hawk
  • wood pewee 
  • red-bellied woodpecker
  • barn swallow
  • eastern phoebe
  • great egret
  • starling
  • red-tailed hawk
  • wood duck
  • Cooper's hawk
  • spotted sandpiper
  • cliff swallow
  • blue gray gnatcatcher (first for me)
  • northern flicker
  • greater black-backed gull
  • common tern

Urban species
  • American goldfinch
  • house finch
  • house sparrow

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