The final days of April are here and the floodgates of migration are wide open. In the past two weeks several species have returned to Rutland County. And plenty more are on the way! Saturday’s trip RCAS trip to West Rutland Marsh is a good example of why it’s a great time to get out there and go birding.
Despite unfavorable weather predictions, 27 participants joined RCAS for the April 21 monthly monitoring walk around the marsh. Fifty species were tallied, well above our April average of 41 species. The marsh birds are back – American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren and Swamp Sparrow. All we need is now is Least Bittern and Sora to complete the picture.
Highlights of the walk included a large number of American Bitterns (5), seen in flight and heard “pumping.” Unusually high numbers of Wilson’s Snipe (7) were observed as well. Besides Marsh Wren, both Carolina and Winter wrens were heard. A female Northern Harrier was flying gracefully over the marsh.
Warblers are putting in their first appearance of the year. Both Northern Waterthrush and Yellow-rumped Warbler were heard along Whipple Hollow Road. And the group had a good look at a bird that would have been a fitting subject for Ansel Adams - the Black-and-white Warbler.
In keeping with this week’s reports from around the state, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher and Chipping Sparrow were all seen and/or heard. Click here for a full list of what was seen during the walk.
West Rutland Marsh, as always, needs our help. May 5 (Saturday) will be your chance to pitch in. RCAS spends each Vermont Green Up Day picking up the trash that has accumulated over the winter. Meet us at the West Rutland Town Hall at 9 a.m. to join in the effort. Trash bags are provided and work gloves suggested. If you need any encouragement, Least Bittern was heard during last year’s clean up.
May and June tie for the best months at West Rutland. Plan to join us on May 17 (Thursday) or June 23 (Saturday) for our monthly monitoring walk around the marsh. Meet at the West Rutland Price Chopper at 7 a.m.