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Tuesday
Jun132017

2017 Annual Meeting, Potluck & Program

Eastern BluebirdThe Annual Meeting of the Rutland County Audubon Society will be held on July 12, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Proctor Library Community Room, Proctor, Vermont.

The evening will include a potluck dinner. Bring a dish to share. We will provide utensils and beverages.  A short business meeting will follow. It will include the election of Officers and Directors as well as an annual report of our finances and a summary of the year’s activities. Marv Elliott will act as the nominating committee chair and welcomes anyone who will assist with that effort. A slate of officers and directors will be presented; however, all director and officer positions are open to nominations from the floor.

The evening’s program for the meeting will be a member photo show with the theme of birding. Any member or prospective member may provide up to 10 photos to Marv Elliott on a flash drive a week in advance or email them to birding@rutlandcountyaudubon.org. Presenters should give a brief explanation of their photos.

We look forward to seeing you!

Saturday
Jun102017

West Rutland Marsh - June 2017

Cedar WaxwingJust when you think you couldn’t possibly add new species for our monthly monitoring walks around West Rutland Marsh, now in our 16th year, two more show up!

Seventeen participants, on one of the all too few beautiful weather days this season, tallied 61 species. This equals our average for June, but is not the highest number recorded for this month of the year. That record stands at 66 species in both 2013 and 2015.

Except for the chatter of marsh wrens, the morning started somewhat quietly on the boardwalk. A single Virginia rail was heard (although two more were heard later in the morning). Both alder and willow flycatchers were nearby so it was a good opportunity to compare their vocalizations.

Ruby-throated HummingbirdA short distance down Marble Street, on the east side of the road, and before the power line crossing, the low chuckling of a least bittern was heard. No American bitterns were observed, but one green heron and one great blue heron were seen in flight as we returned to the boardwalk later in the morning.

The raptor count was low – one red-tailed hawk. Several common ravens were seen. No doubt the young are off the nest. A single turkey vulture was observed.

Cedar waxwings were found in several places along the route.

The warbler count was high – 12 species in all. Common yellowthroats and yellow warblers led the way of course with 19 and 16, respectively. Eleven American redstarts were counted. Canada warbler and northern waterthrush were each singing at their usual spots on Whipple Hollow Road. A golden-winged warbler/blue-winged warbler was heard, but not seen on the east side of Marble Street, with the song coming from suitable brushy habitat.

And the two, new species? Mourning warbler and Louisiana waterthrush! The first was heard on the west side of Whipple Hollow Road just after we turned the corner from Pleasant Street. The song of a Louisiana waterthrush was coming from a stream that runs behind a house further south on Whipple Hollow.

Our next walk is scheduled for Thursday, July 20, at 7 a.m.

Today’s list: 

Mallard  4
Least Bittern  1 
Great Blue Heron  1
Green Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Virginia Rail  3
Mourning Dove  14
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  3
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Alder Flycatcher  5
Willow Flycatcher  6
Least Flycatcher  2
Eastern Phoebe  4
Eastern Kingbird  5
Warbling Vireo  2
Red-eyed Vireo  17
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  3
Common Raven  6
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1
Tree Swallow  6
Barn Swallow  9
Black-capped Chickadee  9
House Wren  6
Marsh Wren  8
Veery  5
Wood Thrush  2
American Robin  5
Gray Catbird  8
European Starling  4
Cedar Waxwing  20
Ovenbird  5
Louisiana Waterthrush  1    
Northern Waterthrush  1
Golden-winged/Blue-winged Warbler  1    
Black-and-white Warbler  4
Mourning Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  19
American Redstart  11
Yellow Warbler  16
Chestnut-sided Warbler  3
Black-throated Green Warbler  1
Canada Warbler  1
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  9
Swamp Sparrow  17
Northern Cardinal  4
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2
Indigo Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  17
Common Grackle  8
Brown-headed Cowbird  2
Baltimore Oriole  3
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  9
House Sparrow  1

 

 

Monday
May292017

Our Natural World in Art

Rutland County Audubon's first-ever art show “Our Natural World in Art” opened with a reception last Friday night. We had a great turnout, with several of the artists in attendance, as well as Audubon members and art lovers. Many thanks to Stone Valley Arts and their talented volunteers who put together a beautiful and professional looking display.

Along with refreshments and wonderful classical music by guitarist Dave Burns, several items were sold in a silent auction to benefit RCAS.

Here is our favorite story of the evening: When the call for artists went out two months ago, we received a response from Erin Hanrahan. She had several pieces she offered for show, but they were not her own. Instead she wanted to display the art as a surprise to the artist, her mother-in-law, Sharon Hunt McCormick. Sharon had taken up painting at retirement and used her work for gifts and cards. Erin thought it was worthy of display (and so do we!).

Shortly after the show opened, Sharon arrived with her family. They made their way slowly around the gallery examining all the pieces done by other artists. As she turned the corner there on display was her own work. We don't know which delighted us more - Sharon's beautiful work or the surprised smile on her face when she discovered it!

It’s not too late to see Sharon's work or any of the other art at Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill at 145 E. Main Street, Poultney. The gallery will be open June 3-4 and June 10-11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

If you were there Friday night, thank you for joining us. If you haven't seen the show yet, please stop by. And bring a friend!.

Monday
May222017

Our Natural World in Art: Opening May 26

Painted Bunting by Marv ElliottRCAS’s show Our Natural World in Art opens this Friday, May 26, with an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be light refreshments, a classical guitarist and several of the artists.

The show is being held at Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill at 145 E. Main Street Poultney. The art includes many beautiful photos and paintings of birds as well as other wildlife and botanicals.

Several mediums are represented and many of the works are for sale. The work is by local artists as well as RCAS members.

 

 

 

Additional hours for the show are as follows:

  • Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, June 3 and 4, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday
May212017

century count XXII

102! We broke a ‘century’ again for RCAS’s annual attempt to tally 100 species or more in Rutland County. The dawn light was beautiful, but quite chilly. Extra layers and gloves were appreciated until late in the morning.

We started the count, as we always do, at West Rutland Marsh. As the sun rose, the morning chorus increased. Willow and alder flycatchers returned this week, adding their voices to the marsh wrens, yellow warblers, common yellowthroats and swamp sparrows that have already returned and claimed their territories. Virginia rails were heard and an American bittern flew across the marsh. Two green herons were seen in flight and then perched, giving us good views.

The Pleasant Street power line was still in the shade when we arrived. The rising song of the two prairie warblers was heard (with a few of us catching glimpses of this beautiful bird). However, we did not hear the downward bouncing ball song of the field sparrow. A wood thrush sang in the nearby woods while eastern towhees invited us to ‘drink our tea’ (a warm cup would have been nice at that point). Over the breeze, we managed to pick out the songs of Nashville warbler, chestnut-sided warbler and blackpoll. A single eastern bluebird was perched on the wire.

Great Blue Heron at Bomoseen State ParkThe Canada warbler singing on Thursday’s marsh monitoring walk was still singing along Whipple Hollow Road. Another blackpoll was heard as well as a northern waterthrush and another wood thrush.

The Route 4 rest area and Blueberry Hill WMA was a bonanza of warblers. Adding ticks, both to checklists and pant legs, was the theme here as this spot is probably the ‘tickiest,’ as in insect spot in the state. But the birds more than make up for it. An unexpected highlight was a bay-breasted warbler near the start. A Tennessee warbler attracted us with its three-part ‘typewriter’ song and a magnolia warbler was also singing.

Walking east on the trail, we encountered a high number of American redstarts and ovenbirds as well as three Blackburnian warblers and a black-and-white warbler. Two cerulean warblers were heard along the way with one seen by two birders. An overgrown field on the eastern side of the rest area had Canada, blackpoll, northern parula, chestnut-sided and yellow warblers. Thank goodness for bird song as the trees leaf out! Other birds encountered were Baltimore oriole, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, wood thrush and yellow-throated vireo.

Moving on to Crystal Beach on Lake Bomoseen, we picked up ring-billed and herring gulls, a common merganser, two common loons and three double-crested cormorants. An adult bald eagle sat at its usual spot on the tallest white pine on Neshobe Island. Had this been a warmer day or Memorial Day weekend, boat traffic probably would have made seeing these species more difficult.At nearby Love’s Marsh, we added a singing brown creeper and two yellow-rumped warblers. A pair of wood ducks flew across the marsh.

Along Black Pond and Moscow roads in Hubbardton and Castleton we saw or rather mostly heard black-throated blue and black-throated green warblers along with more yellow-throated vireos, ovenbirds and redstarts. We finally saw a ruby-throated hummingbird!

At a stop at Bomoseen State Park, we finally heard an eastern wood-pewee and added a chipping sparrow and purple finch. A pair of Canada geese guarded eight young.

A last pass along Lake Bomoseen yielded us a Louisiana waterthrush at the Kehoe Fishing Access. Unfortunately, the blue-gray gnatcatcher was a no-show.

Moving west in the county we picked up some grassland species. Bobolinks were bubbling and three killdeer were spotted at Fair Haven Airport. Along Main Road in West Haven more bobolinks were singing as well as eastern meadowlarks. An American kestrel and a dust-bathing wild turkey were also seen.

Two silent savannah sparrows were seen along Ghost Hollow Road. We heard the wheezy song of a blue-gray gnatcatcher along Cogman Road in West Haven and finally spotted the small bird.

We moved on to the Buckner Preserve which entailed a brief trip through New York State. At last we saw an osprey, but couldn’t count it! Fortunately, we saw two at Buckner. More prairie warblers, counted during the start of our day, were heard again. Other highlights at this spot were a nesting red-tailed hawk and another Louisiana waterthrush. We heard the ‘bees buzz’ of a winged warbler so that one went on the list as “golden-winged warbler/blue-winged warbler.”

Odd misses or low numbers today: No downy woodpeckers, no pine warblers, no ruffed grouse, one indigo bunting and that one only giving its ‘spit’ call, two white-breasted nuthatches and few raptors. The hits, however, more than made up for it!

It was a great day to be out and about in Rutland County. Many thanks to all the eyes and ears that made 102 species possible!

Today's list (20 checklists submitted to eBird):

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Common Merganser
Wild Turkey
Common Loon
Double-crested Cormorant
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Osprey
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Virginia Rail
Killdeer
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Alder Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great-crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Common Raven
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Veery
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Ovenbird
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged/Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Cerulean Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Bobolink
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow