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In Monday’s heat the butterflies awoke. During our walk around Berlin Pond, where we noted 32 bird species, Ruth and I saw the year’s first butterflies: Mourning Cloak and Eastern Comma.

They were also 2013’s last butterflies. These two species and their close relatives spend the winter as adults, wedged in some slot in a tree, for example, or between clapboards on your home. On the first warm, sunny days, even in March, they emerge to, well, uh, you know – make more butterflies. That’s a Mourning Cloak below, and below him is an Eastern Comma; note the silvery comma mark on the underside of the hind wing.

But also appearing now in Montpelier (and across the continent) is the first of two April fireworks displays. Ruby-crowned Kinglets and their shock-and-awe explosions are just arriving to the Capital City. Here’s the tale of the Kinglet’s Court – an explosion from the head of a little bird. Soon after (a bit late this year) we’ll see the fireworks in the plant pictured above: Beaked Hazelnut. Read on about that burst of spring. And below these butterflies you’ll find our bird list (with counts) from Berlin Pond, which, by the way, is opening up at its north end, where you’ll find all the ducks. Here are all the Montpelier Wild posts.

Mourning Cloak (dorsal and ventral) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Mourning Cloak (dorsal and ventral) / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) from above and below / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) from above and below / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Bird List Berlin Pond – 14 April 2014

  • Canada Goose  5
  • Mallard  4
  • Ring-necked Duck  8
  • Bufflehead  1
  • Hooded Merganser  7
  • Common Merganser  6
  • Common Gallinule  1  (found by Clay Poitras)
  • Mourning Dove  2
  • Belted Kingfisher  1
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
  • Eastern Phoebe  8
  • Blue Jay  1
  • American Crow  7
  • Black-capped Chickadee  8
  • Tufted Titmouse  1
  • White-breasted Nuthatch  1
  • Brown Creeper  4
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet  6
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet  1
  • American Robin  4
  • Chipping Sparrow  1
  • Fox Sparrow  1
  • Song Sparrow  15
  • Swamp Sparrow  1
  • White-throated Sparrow  1
  • Dark-eyed Junco  25
  • Red-winged Blackbird  20
  • Common Grackle  15
  • Brown-headed Cowbird  1
  • House Finch  1
  • Purple Finch  1
  • American Goldfinch  8
  1. Mark C. says:

    The Glorious Excess has begun! Thanks for helping to celebrate it!

  2. jill mckeon says:

    so glad to see the little warblers finally arriving after this long hard winter, no butterflies on my hill but I did see a wooly caterpillar creeping along on my flagstones, thanks for the Berlin Pond tour

  3. Bob Barasch says:

    Thanks for the lovely tour of Berlin Pond. I’ve never seen a hazelnut flower. (Or, for that matter, a hazelnut tree. Are they rare here?)

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