Monday, August 24, 2009

Vermont questions

Oh Vermont, with your unseen moose and black bears continually evoked by signs like "Moose Crossing Next 12 Miles" or "Trail Closed. Wildlife corridor." After my morning in the Northeast Kingdom, I came back to Smuggler's Notch to climb the relatively short but somewhat strenuous (for me, not the seven-year-olds cheerily hopping up the mountain) path up to the Long Trail. About three quarters of the way up I spotted a thrush. Alarms rang in my head--Bicknell's! The thrush flew on and I paused to listen. A song. Not a thrush, but something both utterly familiar and unplaceable. (This is a standard sophomore year birding problem--the knowledge is there but it's unretrieveable). Here's the recording. I headed down the mountain convinced of my Bicknell's (in truth, probably a hermit, who also live up in the higher elevations) and haunted by the simple but mysterious song. (I still can't figure it out).

On our last full day we took the girls to the Alpine Slide at Stowe. There, on the ski lift, could it be a pair of ravens? And what was that flying up and perching? (On the right) Definitely a falcon--a peregrine? I still can't quite figure the scale. Probably just crows and a kestrel.

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