I just took my longest trip in some time. I went to my native home of Vermont to visit family and then went to the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge. I’m vaccinated and so are more than 80% of Vermonters, making for a pretty stress free stay in Burlington. Missisquoi NWR is in Swanton and is just below the US-Canada border where the Missisquoi River empties into Lake Champlain. [Pronunciation Note: You can choose the Quebec version, “misses kwaw”, or the Vermont version, “misses quoy”.]
The birds were relatively quiet, which is expected at this time of year. But I did have some interesting encounters, most notably with a flock of House Wrens. I came across a half dozen or so wrens foraging in the bushes along a trail. They did not fly away as I approached and even let me walk within 10 feet of them as I went down the trail. But they were very vocal in their scolding to remind that I was just a visitor in THEIR refuge. This is a selection of photos that include some scolding and nasty looks. I made sure that I kept moving and didn’t stress them out!
My other encounter was with a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I came into a small open field in the woods and there she was sitting on a branch on the other side of the clearing. I guess she didn’t want to be photographed. When she heard the camera she flew toward me and right over my head. I continued on and let her have her clearing to herself again.
These birds seemed to be well aware that the refuge is their home and I was just a visitor. I made sure to minimize any disturbance to their activities.