VINS 11/10/2020

On Tuesday, Jane and I enjoyed our trip to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science which specializes in rehabilitating raptors. All the birds on exhibit cannot be returned to the wild for some reason, whether having a missing or injured wing, brain damage, being imprinted on humans etc. Their talks are informative, though for the winter, they only present one bird per talk. We first saw a barn owl.

Barn owl.

We walked through the exhibits, and saw owls, ravens,

Barred owl
Ravens

Hawks,

Red tailed hawks
Rough-legged hawk
Broad winged hawk

and eagles.

Golden eagles
Bald eagle
Bald eagle

We took a walk on the trails including the canopy walk which puts you 30-70 feet in the air, near the tops of the trees.

The tower on the canopy trail.
Eagle sculpture on the canopy walk

We went back to another informative talk on the Harris hawk. This hawk lives in the Southwest and often hunts in packs.

Harris hawk in flight
Harris hawk

From my kayak 7/13-21

The young birds are all around. Some are still in the nest.

Loon on nest. Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH 7/21/2020
Kingbird and nest. Connecticut River, Lebanon, NH 7/19/2020

Some have just left the nest and are watched over by a parent.

Mama mallard. Connecticut River, Lebanon, NH 7/19/2020
Mallard ducklings. Connecticut River, Lebanon, NH 7/19/2020
Loon parent and baby. Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH 7/21/2020
Canadian geese with two different sets of goslings. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 7/18/2020

Others are off on their own.

“Where’s Mama?” Mallard duckling separated from its family. Connecticut River, Lebanon, NH 7/19/2020
Young great blue heron. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/16/2020
Young green heron. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 7/18/2020
Wood ducks. Mink Brook, Hanover, NH 7/13/2020

And there are a few adults, too.

Eagle flying just overhead. Connecticut River, Lebanon, NH 7/13/2020
Bald eagle. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/16/2020
Loon. Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH 7/21/2020

Dragonflies and butterflies put in their appearances too.

Tattered swallowtail butterfly on pickerel weed. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 7/18/2020
Dragonfly. Ompompanoosuc River, Norwich, VT 7/18/2020
Dragonfly. Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH 7/21/2020
Damsel flies(?). Grafton Pond, Grafton, NH 7/21/2020

From my kayak 7/4-9

We visited our usual haunts this week: the Connecticut River out of Wilder, the Ompompanoosuc River and the North Hartland Lake. The wildlife did not disappoint.

The kingbirds on the Connecticut are sitting on their nests again.

Kingbird with nest. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20

The young mallards are nearly full grown and seem to enjoy snails for lunch.

Nearly grown mallards. Lebanon, NH 7/5/20
Snails for lunch. Mallards. Wilder, VT 7/7/20

We saw a couple of mammals on the Pompy.

Beaver (?). Norwich, VT 7/6/20

We rounded a corner and came across this doe only about 15 feet away.

White tailed deer. Norwich, VT 7/6/20
Butterflies on milkweed. Norwich, VT 7/6/20

North Hartland Lake presented some of its usual suspects. Both adult eagles were near the nest, but we only saw one juvenile.

Eagle parents. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Immature eagle with nest. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

We also saw a couple of great blue herons.

Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20
Great blue heron. North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

and of course a painted turtle.

Painted turtle North Hartland, VT 7/9/20

North Hartland Lake 7/2/2020

We were the first people at the lake this morning and it makes a difference on what we see. We started by watching a family of killdeer at the beach.

Killdeer. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

We saw at least 4 groups of deer, mostly at a distance, but one fawn swam across the river near us.

Young deer swimming. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

A great blue heron flew down the river, the first we’ve seen this year.

Great blue heron. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

The eagle’s nest was a center of activity. An adult was in a nearby tree, being attacked by a kingbird.

Eagle being attacked by a kingbird. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

There were two immature eagles on branches near the nest. And a second adult eagle was across the lake.

Immature bald eagle. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

The wildflowers were different than last week.

Yellow loosestrife. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

And the painted turtles were out sunning themselves.

Painted turtles on a log. North Hartland Lake, VT 7/2/20

From my kayak 6/25-27

One of our favorite paddling spots, North Hartland Lake, is now open Wednesday-Sunday! The eagles have built a nest, but we didn’t see any evidence of eaglets.

Bald eagle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

We saw the usual painted turtles and spotted sandpipers and were treated with some deer.

Painted turtle. Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Spotted sandpiper on the boom. North Hartland Dam, Hartland, VT 6/25/20
Deer. Hartland, VT 6/25/20

The next day, on the Connecticut River, we came across a large snapping turtle sunning himself. Over the years, we have seen him a few times before, but always underwater.

Snapping turtle and dragon fly. Lebanon, NH 6/26/20

The kingbirds are trying for a second clutch of eggs in at least two nests.

Kingbird with nest. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

And the damselflies are out and about.

Damselfly on my kayak. Hanover, NH 6/26/20

Today on the Ompompanoosuc, we found the family of geese, now getting their adult feathers.

Canada goose with half grown goslings. Norwich, VT 6/27/20

We also saw a family of common mergansers.

Common merganser family. Norwich, VT 6/27/20