What You Can Do
National Audubon
Saturday
Aug152015

west rutland marsh - august monitoring report

No cake and ice cream, but today was a birthday celebration of sorts as Rutland County Audubon kicked off its 15th year of monitoring West Rutland Marsh. As drizzly skies gave way to sun (and more humidity), the birds responded. Fifty-eight species were tallied, our new August high! This is well above last year’s meager 40 and our average of 45.

Marsh birds were still evident, but certainly not as abundant as earlier in the season. Marsh Wrens were chipping loudly near the boardwalk and a few Swamp Sparrows were singing. A single Virginia Rail was noted. Silent flycatchers had to go on the list simply as ‘Empid.’

A small flock of frenzied warblers on Whipple Hollow Road reminded us that migration will soon be in full swing. They included Black-and-white Warbler, American Redstart, Blackburnian Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Pine Warbler and Black-throated Green Warbler.

A Tennessee Warbler was seen early in the walk, not far from the boardwalk. Five Yellow Warblers were also seen during the morning, a high number for a species that seems to make itself scarce as breeding season ends.

BobolinkA Scarlet Tanager halfway between gaudy summer attire and drabber fall colors caused consternation until its identity became clear. A Green Heron perched high in a tree with its head held bittern-fashion also caught our attention.

Four Bobolinks, a species not often recorded on the marsh walk, were seen in a field on Pleasant Street.

Our next marsh walk is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, starting at 8 a.m.

 

 

Today’s list:

Canada Goose  1
Wood Duck  1
American Black Duck  1
Mallard  4
American Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  1
Green Heron  2
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Virginia Rail  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  4
Mourning Dove  20
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  8
Belted Kingfisher  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  4
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Empidonax sp.  2
Eastern Phoebe  6
Eastern Kingbird  5
Warbling Vireo  1
Red-eyed Vireo  8
Blue Jay  7
American Crow  1
Common Raven  3
Barn Swallow  10
Black-capped Chickadee  15
Tufted Titmouse  2
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
Marsh Wren  4
Veery  4
American Robin  4
Gray Catbird  11
Cedar Waxwing  31
Black-and-white Warbler  3
Tennessee Warbler  1
Nashville Warbler  1
Common Yellowthroat  3
American Redstart  2
Blackburnian Warbler  1
Yellow Warbler  5
Chestnut-sided Warbler  1
Pine Warbler  1
Black-throated Green Warbler  1
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  9
Swamp Sparrow  6
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  3
Bobolink  4
Red-winged Blackbird  14
Common Grackle  56
House Finch  1
Purple Finch  2
American Goldfinch  26

Thursday
Jul092015

the lost bird project: july 22

The Lost Bird Project, a film about sculptor Todd McGrain’s bronze memorials to five extinct bird species, will be shown on Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. at The Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, 636 Marble Street in West Rutland.

The Lost Bird Project is a compelling one-hour film about an artist’s memorials to North America’s five lost avian species: the Passenger Pigeon, the Great Auk, The Labrador Duck, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Heath Hen. The artist Todd McGrain’s five bronze sculptures have been placed where each of the birds were last seen. The evocative background music and gorgeous photography of massive, sweeping flocks of birds have been brought together in a thought-provoking video.

Yet the sculptor McGrain discovers that once he emerges from the creative process of his personal vision, difficulties are encountered in finding acceptable sites for these monuments. There were also logistical hurdles in transporting and mounting them out in nature.

This film will be enjoyed by not just birders and sculptors, but environmentalists, artists and nature lovers of all kinds. The showing is free and open to all!

Thursday
Jul092015

west rutland marsh - july monitoring report

Yellow WarblerEach year July marks an important milestone for Rutland County Audubon as it means another full year of monthly monitoring of West Rutland Marsh. And so today completes our 14th year.

148 species have been observed to date – the latest addition was Blackpoll Warbler this past May. It should be noted we have had 1,906 participants (albeit many repeats!) joining in the effort to count the birds. Perhaps as significant, it has brought attention to the marsh and raised awareness of the importance of preserving it.

Today 14 participants tallied 57 species, our highest for the month of July, and one more than counted last year. A Least Bittern, seen and heard frequently this season, was observed by early participants. An American Bittern was seen in flight. A Great Blue Heron was observed as well as four Green Herons, one of which was at close range and was vocalizing.

There is still plenty of evidence of the breeding season – from a young Virginia Rail crossing the road to a Yellow Warbler and a Chestnut-sided Warbler carrying food for young. A Common Yellowthroat gave a distraction display.

looking for warblers along Whipple Hollow RoadFive Red-bellied Woodpeckers, first noted on our marsh walk in December 2014, were observed along with eight Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

There is still plenty of bird song with Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows the most vocal. A Wood Thrush and a Hermit Thrush were heard in the distance and American Redstarts and Black-and-White Warblers were much in evidence.

Our next walk, kicking off our 15th year, will be held on Saturday, August 15, at 7 a.m.

Today’s list:

Wood Duck  1
Mallard  17
American Bittern  1
Least Bittern  1    
Great Blue Heron  1
Green Heron  4
Virginia Rail  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  1
Mourning Dove  12
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  1
Belted Kingfisher  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  5
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  8
Downy Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  2
Willow Flycatcher  2
Least Flycatcher  1
Eastern Phoebe  6
Eastern Kingbird  9
Warbling Vireo  4
Red-eyed Vireo  11
Blue Jay  5
American Crow  4
Common Raven  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Tree Swallow  19
Bank Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  6
Black-capped Chickadee  11
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  6
House Wren  1
Marsh Wren  11
Veery  18
Hermit Thrush  1
Wood Thrush  1
American Robin  15
Gray Catbird  12
European Starling  6
Cedar Waxwing  33
Ovenbird  8
Northern Waterthrush  1
Common Yellowthroat  24
American Redstart  13
Yellow Warbler  7
Chestnut-sided Warbler  1
Song Sparrow  15
Swamp Sparrow  23
Northern Cardinal  5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Red-winged Blackbird  26
Common Grackle  13
House Finch  3
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch  17
House Sparrow  3

Friday
Jun262015

rcas annual meeting - june 24, 2015 

Roy Pilcher presents the annual reportRCAS directors and members gathered at the Proctor Library on June 24 to celebrate another successful year of Rutland County Audubon. The evening kicked off with a delicious potluck supper.

Roy Pilcher, who will be stepping down as RCAS co-president, presented the annual report from the period of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, our fiscal year.

Following the annual report and election of officers, participants enjoyed a member ‘slide show’ presented on a new drop-down screen donated by RCAS to the Proctor Library, the venue for many of our events, in lieu of a donation for use of their facility. One of the highlights of the show was Valerie Biebuyck’s photo and description of two herring gulls fighting over Cheese Nips that neither of them actually wanted.

We hope you will join us, either as an active volunteer or as a participant in our field trips and programs, in the coming year.

 2015-2016 Slate of Officers:

 

Marvin Elliott President
Mike Blust, Vice President
Kathleen Guinness, Secretary
Marian McDonald, Assistant Treasurer
Roy Pilcher, Treasurer

Directors:
Marsha Booker
Nathan Dansereau
Ralph Nimtz
Susan Elliott
Renee Warren
Fred Bates
David Jenne
Mary Lou Webster
Sue Wetmore
Tim Abraham

 

 

 

 

Saturday
Jun132015

west rutland marsh - june monitoring report


Mallard with youngWe probably say this every year, but nothing beats West Rutland Marsh in June for birding! Twelve participants on today’s monitoring walk, our 167th monthly walk, tallied 65 species. This is a bit more than our June average of 60 and a lot more than last year’s 57!

Herons were a highlight with American, Least, Great Blue and Green. An American Bittern flew across a hay field on the east side of Marble Street while later another flew overhead has we walked up Water Street.

The only raptor of the day was a single Red-tailed Hawk.

A good number of warblers were tallied: Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-White, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Yellow Warbler and Chestnut-sided.

As expected there was plenty of evidence of the breeding season with a female Mallard sitting on a log with her young, a nest box filled with cheeping Tree Swallows, a Baltimore Oriole carrying food and several species agitated by our presence.

The next marsh walk is scheduled for Thursday, July 9, at 7 a.m.

Today list:

Canada Goose  1
Mallard  9
American Bittern  2
Least Bittern  1
Great Blue Heron  2
Green Heron  3
Turkey Vulture  3
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Virginia Rail  1
Mourning Dove  6
Black-billed Cuckoo  1
Chimney Swift  1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2
Belted Kingfisher  3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Alder Flycatcher  6
Willow Flycatcher  4
Least Flycatcher  2
Great Crested Flycatcher  2
Eastern Kingbird  6
Yellow-throated Vireo  2
Warbling Vireo  6
Red-eyed Vireo  13
Blue Jay  7
American Crow  7
Common Raven  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1
Tree Swallow  6
Barn Swallow  5
Black-capped Chickadee  5
Tufted Titmouse  2
House Wren  2
Marsh Wren  6
Veery  7
Wood Thrush  1
American Robin  9
Gray Catbird  8
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  10
Cedar Waxwing  13
Ovenbird  9
Northern Waterthrush  1
Black-and-white Warbler  7
Common Yellowthroat  12
American Redstart  5
Yellow Warbler  11
Chestnut-sided Warbler  2
Chipping Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  8
Swamp Sparrow  11
Scarlet Tanager  2
Northern Cardinal  7
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Red-winged Blackbird  20
Common Grackle  13
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
Baltimore Oriole  5
House Finch  3
Purple Finch  1
American Goldfinch  12
House Sparrow  5