Spring Migration in the Green Mountains

Blueberry Hill Inn - Central Vermont

  • 15-17 May 2020 (Weekend Tour)

Price: TBA (Includes lodging & meals)

*Book directly through Blueberry Hill Inn by phone at 802-247-6735, or email at info@blueberryhillinn.com

Black-throated Blue Warbler -  Jane Ogilvie

Black-throated Blue Warbler - Jane Ogilvie

At the heart of spring migration, this weekend of birding is set at Blueberry Hill Inn, a quaint and secluded inn surrounded by the beautiful Green Mountain National Forest.  We’ll enjoy the migrant songbirds flooding into the area – scores of colorful warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, orioles, vireos, and more.  We’ll also watch nesting herons, breeding loons, and an array of raptors and owls. We’ll likely find over 100 species in total during the weekend, including more than 20 warbler species.  Some likely highlights include Northern Goshawk, and Cape May, Bay-breasted, Golden-winged, and Canada Warblers.

  • Led by ornithologist and top-notch bird guide Dr. David Hof, Ph.D.

  • Includes all meals beginning Friday night through Sunday breakfast

For questions and further information, contact us by phone at 603-313-7016 or email at info@newenglandbirdtours.com.

Blackburnian Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Blackburnian Warbler - Tyler Pockette

Cape May Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Cape May Warbler - Tyler Pockette

Birding Schedule/Itinerary

Scarlet Tanager -  Tyler Pockette

Scarlet Tanager - Tyler Pockette

Friday (May 10): We’ll convene at Blueberry Hill Inn in the mid to late afternoon. Once everyone has settled in, we’ll begin to explore the trails around the inn. We’ll take a stroll to a heron rookery to see herons at their nests, and to do some birding around a few beaver ponds (and also to look for beavers). Along the trails, we’ll look for forest birds such as Blackburnian, Black-throated Blue and Black-throated Green Warblers, Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, and Ruffed Grouse.

After a gourmet dinner at the inn, we’ll head back outside at dusk to watch the aerial displays of American Woodcock in the fields across from the inn. We’ll try to sneak up on one calling from the ground for a closer look. As night sets in, we’ll begin searching for owls, and hopefully get some good looks at them – Barred Owls, which are abundant in the area, and Northern Saw-whet Owls, the smallest and cutest of the owls in the eastern US.

Bay-breasted Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Bay-breasted Warbler - Tyler Pockette

Saturday (May 11): We’ll catch some early morning bird activity near the inn. There should be a lot of exciting bird action and a pretty high diversity of migrant songbirds, many of which will be sticking together in large mixed species flocks. We’ll have a good chance to find some potential rarities like Cape May Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler. We’ll especially focus on finding spruce-fir forest birds such as Magnolia, Nashville, and Canada Warblers, Northern Waterthrush, Northern Parula, and Blue-headed Vireo.

Golden-winged Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Golden-winged Warbler - Tyler Pockette

We’ll then venture down into the valley west of Blueberry Hill, which is always choc full of amazing birds in spring. Some highlights include Golden-winged and Blue-winged Warblers and hybrids, Prairie, Black-and-white, and Chestnut-sided Warblers, Alder Flycatcher, Indigo Bunting, Wood Thrush, Veery, Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Green Heron, and if we’re lucky Black-billed Cuckoo.

Baltimore Oriole -  Tyler Pockette

Baltimore Oriole - Tyler Pockette

We’ll visit some grasslands and floodplain forest along the Otter Creek to look for Yellow-throated Vireo, Baltimore Oriole, Brown Thrasher, Eastern Meadowlark, displaying Bobolinks, and migrant shorebirds and waterfowl. This area is also great for seeing Bald Eagles, Hawks, and Falcons. Time permitting we may have a chance to visit a nearby marsh to look for Bitterns, Rails, Marsh Wren, Willow Flycatcher, Orchard Oriole, Purple Martin, and an array of Swallows.

In the late afternoon, we’ll visit a beautiful lake near the inn to watch the breeding loons there, and to continue to take in the splendid array of migrants. We’ll spend some time searching for Northern Goshawks. These impressive raptors often nest in the area, and we have a great chance of finding them.

Eastern Screech-Owl -  Tyler Pockette

Eastern Screech-Owl - Tyler Pockette

After another delicious dinner and compiling our bird species list for the day, we’ll head out for another evening session, this time in some different habitat, looking for Eastern Whip-poor-wills, and Great Horned Owls and Eastern Screech-Owls.

Sunday (12 May): We’ll enjoy the morning bird activity again near the inn, looking especially for mixed species flocks of migrants, and species we haven’t seen yet. We’ll also take a walk along a nearby stream to watch Louisiana Waterthrushes, a very charismatic warbler which breeds along fast flowing streams.

Common Loon -  Jane Ogilvie

Common Loon - Jane Ogilvie

Rose-breasted Grosbeak -  Tyler Pockette

Rose-breasted Grosbeak - Tyler Pockette

Indigo Bunting -  Tyler Pockette

Indigo Bunting - Tyler Pockette

Black-and-white Warbler -  Tyler Pockette

Black-and-white Warbler - Tyler Pockette