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century count XVII

Prairie WarblerFor the eighth consecutive year Rutland County Audubon has exceeded its goal of 100 species in Rutland County during its annual Century Count. This year's count, the seventeenth, totaled 110 species by 13 participants! Our record was 114 in 2010.

Although no rarities were observed, there was a good representation of the species to be found in Rutland County in May. By comparison this a little more than twice the number of species tallied during the annual Christmas Bird Count.

Prairie Warblers were in full song along the Pleasant Street power line in West Rutland and, as we left, the Eastern Towhees were tuning up. Both Blue-winged and Golden-winged warblers were heard.

West Rutland Marsh produced the expected species - American Bittern, Virginia Rail, Marsh Wren - as well as a Green Heron. A Canada Warbler, heard along Whipple Hollow Road during last week's marsh monitoring walk, is still singing. A Northern Waterthrush and Yellow-billed Cuckoo were also heard.

Many of us are now calling what used to be known as the Golden-winged Warbler pull-off (the rest area on Route 4), the Tick pull-off, no pun intended. No Golden-winged or Blue-winged warblers were heard, but the ticks are plentiful. Use caution when visiting! Five Wood Thrush were heard as well as one Mourning Warbler, a Black-billed Cuckoo and the first of many Eastern Wood-pewees of the day.

Castleton State College has a nice, easy-to-walk trail behind the athletic center. It produced Winter Wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper and Louisiana Waterthrush.

At the Kehoe Fishing Access on the west side of Lake Bomoseen, we could see an adult Bald Eagle sitting on a tree on Neshobe Island. An Osprey was also observed flying down the lake.

During the heat of mid-afternoon the grassland species were still singing - Savannah Sparrow at Fair Haven Municipal Airport, Bobolinks at several locations in West Haven and Benson, and Brown Thrasher and Eastern Meadowlark in Benson.

Unbelievably the only Red-tailed Hawk sighting of the day came at 7 p.m. in Brandon.

Common Loon and Spotted Sandpiper were observed at both Chittenden Reservoir and Kent Pond. The single Hermit Thrush of the day was heard at Chittenden Reservoir as well.

The day ended with the evening song of a Swainson's Thrush at Kent Pond in Killington and at Lefferts Pond in Chittenden "peent" of American Woodcock, the "oong-ka-choonk" of American Bittern, the White-throated Sparrow's "old Sam Peabody."

Two new species were added to the annual Century Count list: Carolina Wren at West Rutland Marsh and American Wigeon, a pair, at Lefferts Pond.

As an added bonus several Giant Swallowtail butterflies were observed during the day at various locations.

The day's list:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Wigeon
American Black Duck
Common Loon
American Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Turkey Vulture
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Virginia Rail
Spotted Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
American Woodcock
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cucko
o Black-billed Cuckoo
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-belled Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
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
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
House Wren
Winter Wren
Marsh Wren
Eastern Bluebird
Swainson’s Thrush
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Blue-winged Warbler
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Prairie Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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