Date: 6/5/20 3:55 am From: Ian Worley <iworley...> Subject: [VTBIRD] Six Whip-poor-wills. Weybridge and Waltham
Last night's calm weather and moon made for ideal conditions for doing my annual Northeast Nightjar Survey route along the east side of Snake Mountain in Cornwall and Weybridge, ending below Buck Mountain at the Sunset View Cemetery in Waltham.
At the well known population in Weybridge over a two mile stretch there were two pair and a single all calling from the west side of Snake Mountain Road. One pair were clearly interacting with each other with overlapping calls having rapid of changes in articulation and speed. After a gap of some 30 years, Whip-poor-wills returned in 2010 to this location and have continued in multiple numbers since then. A high count of 8 was made on June 23, 2019.
The sixth bird was at the last of the 10 sample points, Sunset View Cemetery in Waltham. Often this bird is a brief singer and enigmatic in timing, but last night it continued non-stop through the 20 minutes of my visit (around 11:00 pm) hoping to hear a second bird. First reported in 2012, there has only been a single bird heard at this site since then.
Other night birds were totally silent throughout the route. At a sampling point without Whip-poor-wills, in the muted light of the nearly full moon through a high thin overcast yet bright enough to make my shadow my only companion, one echoing distant call repeated several times ... a call that could be best described as coming from a hybrid cross of a red fox with a Barred Owl.