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The State of Vermont (USA) has 251 towns and cities, and 4 unchartered gores. I've set myself the goal of birding in each and every one, and to submit an observation report to the Vermont eBird database (

In this blog I'll recap where I've birded and the highlights (including occasional photos) of what I've seen.
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77 Dummerston - Bluebirds amongst the Colonials

Posted Tuesday 28th August 2012 at 03:34 by bheitzman
Common Nighthawks had been congregating in large flocks each evening during this past week's sunny muggy weather, down in in the southeastern town of Westminster. Tonight was the first evening I'd had the opportunity to get down to that part of the state, but the weather had changed, and the Nighthawks were not mine to be had.

But I did take the opportunity to explore the nearby town of Dummerston, seeking an area for my 'official' birding location. Eventually, I settled on the Dummerston Center Cemetery along the East-West Road. The cemetery sits on a short hillside road, and faces a large meadow. Maple trees line the route of the road. The cemetery's setting seemed like a good spot for some woodland's edge & meadow birding.

The birding wasn't too special: a family of Eastern Bluebirds and a loose flock of Chipping Sparrows were the most notable sightings, but what really caught my interest were the tombstones.

Many were of slate, the stone of choice during the 1700s and early 1800s. These early tombstones are in very good shape considering most are 200 years old; very few have flaked or collapsed. The stones are large - often 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall - with inscriptions in fine, bold fonts. The early settlers of this town were very well esteemed. One prominent tombstone from 1799 noted that the deceased was the "Major of the 1st Company of the 1st Regiment of the State of Vermont" and passed away in his 41st year.

I want to go back to Dummerston Center Cemetery on a sunny day, and photograph some of these tombstones in better light.

Dummerston's checklist:
Eastern Bluebird (adults & juveniles)
Chipping Sparrow (loose flock of 32)
Gray Catbird
American Robin
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