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west rutland marsh - july monitoring report

Today’s West Rutland Marsh walk marked the completion of 12 years of consecutive monthly monitoring. Fortunately, this summer’s seemingly endless rain held off.

Fifty-two species were either seen or heard. This is above last year’s July total of 48 and also our July average of 48.

Virginia RailThe morning started with an adult Virginia Rail close to the boardwalk much to the delight of all especially the photographers in the group. As we watched one scurry through the vegetation, a second was calling behind us. This is near the site where young were spotted in June. Hopefully, they survived the high water which is just several inches below the boardwalk.

Despite a lack of any early morning wind, two adult Red-tailed Hawks were soaring high above the marsh. An Osprey was seen later in the morning. On our walk in 2002 four American Kestrel were seen. Since that time sightings of kestrel at the marsh on our monitoring walk have declined. Happily, one was spotted today.

A Brown Thrasher was spotted near the boardwalk. Usually it is heard from Pleasant Street well above the marsh. 

Also of interest were two Northern Waterthrush on Marble Street, a new location for them at the marsh. From their behavior it seems possible they nested there. A second pair was heard in the usual spot on Whipple Hollow Road.

As might be expected there was plenty of evidence of nesting. An immature Eastern Bluebird sat in a tree while an adult was bringing food to nestlings in a box nearby. A Gray Catbird, a Song Sparrow and several Red-winged Blackbirds were seen carrying food. An adult Black-and-white Warbler was feeding young in an apple tree on Whipple Hollow Road. An immature Common Raven was testing out his adolescent voice.

There is plenty of ripening fruit which bodes well for the migration season which will soon be upon us. Our next marsh walk is scheduled for Saturday, August 17 at 7 a.m.

Today's list:

Wood Duck  1
Osprey  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Virginia Rail  2
Mourning Dove  10
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Downy Woodpecker  5
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  3
Pileated Woodpecker  1
American Kestrel  1
Eastern Wood-Pewee  1
Alder Flycatcher  1
Willow Flycatcher  2
Eastern Phoebe  3
Eastern Kingbird  4
Warbling Vireo  2
Red-eyed Vireo  6
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  3
Common Raven  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  1
Barn Swallow  7
Black-capped Chickadee  10
Tufted Titmouse  1
House Wren  2
Marsh Wren  7
Carolina Wren  1
Eastern Bluebird  2     
Veery  11   
American Robin  11
Gray Catbird  12
Brown Thrasher  1
European Starling  7
Cedar Waxwing  18
Ovenbird  4
Northern Waterthrush  4
Black-and-white Warbler  3
Common Yellowthroat  24
Yellow Warbler  3
Chipping Sparrow  1
Song Sparrow  11
Swamp Sparrow  14
Scarlet Tanager  1
Northern Cardinal  5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak  1
Indigo Bunting  2
Red-winged Blackbird  13
Common Grackle  14
Baltimore Oriole  1
American Goldfinch  15
House Sparrow  7

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