After spending a night in Killington, VT catching up with some old friends and various microbrews, I took the scenic route home today. Rather than heading back down I-91 I took the drive down Route 7 from Rutland. This road runs north-south through the Green Mountains in Vermont (and continues south into the Berkshires in MA and through western CT all the way to Norwalk).
Following up on reports from the Vermont listserv and eBird, I spent a few hours birding the far SW corner of the state, just south of Bennington. Recently Bohemian Waxwings and both redpolls had been seen there.
The area was rather quiet except for two concentrations of frugivores. Monument Road held several dozen American Robins, 8 Eastern Bluebirds, and 20 Cedar Waxwings along one short stretch.
Southern Vermont Orchards on Carpenter Hill Rd, a bit further south, was the epicenter of activity thanks to some rotting apples still on trees. I picked through many more Robins in search of rarer species or perhaps candidates for the nigrideus subspecies, but no dice. First heard, then seen, were BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS. They were scattered throughout the orchard, on both sides of the road, and some were quite cooperative. It was tough to get a firm count, but when the flock coalesced in the air I came up with a count of 38.
I drove a few nearby backroads in search of stocked feeders and finches, but could only turn up a single COMMON REDPOLL.