the settlement in this town is along a highway corridor through the north of the
town; however, since I live in the south-central part of the state, I targeted a
southern section of the town that could be accessed from neighboring Lunenburg.
The one road that crossed into Guildhall from the south crossed a
natural gas pipeline and then a small swampy area, before climbing up a small
hill. This seemed like an area that would provide a diversity both of habitats
and of bird species.
Well, it was not a rich bird habitat. The wooded
hillside yielded only 2 Black-capped Chickadees and 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch.
The swamp yielded only 3 warblers, 1 Blue Jay, and 1 Hermit Thrush -- all
totally common for this time of year.
I returned to my car totally
disappointed, and decided to give a gravel road a try. After half a kilometer,
I hear a unique and different call... "bob WHEET" repeated 3 times over a 1
minute period! I checked my iBirdPRO app and confirmed I had a Northern
Bobwhite out thru the woods; this was a new bird for my lifelist and my first
quail! I followed the well-spaced calls thru the woods to the pipeline
corridor, and then slowly zeroed in on the area from which the call was coming.
Finally, there! In the low grass of a mountain bike path thru the treeless
corridor I saw a black & white striped head. The Bobwhite is a beautiful
bird, and I was thrilled to see it Unfortunately I didn't have my nice 8MP
camera, so I had to settle for record photos from my 3MP iPhone's
All of the range maps (Sibley, Peterson, iBird) show Northern
Bobwhites ranging up into Connecticut and Rhode Island, but eBird.org shows at
least 20 reports in Vermont, as well as in Maine and Massachusetts. It turns out that
there is a game bird breeding farm in the Northeast Kingdom, and it is believed that
these are escapees; it's not known if they're now established or still new introductions.