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Entries in Bird Monitoring (66)


west rutland marsh - march monitoring report

the view from Water StreetDespite what the calendar indicates winter is not quite ready to give up its icy grip. Eight people were determined to prove otherwise on today’s West Rutland Marsh monitoring walk, our 140th consecutive monthly walk.

Today’s tally fell five short of last year’s March walk. It is, however, right on target with our average of 28 for this month of the year.  

Red-winged Blackbirds and Common Grackles are showing up in increasing numbers with many of the early bird males starting to take up what they are betting will be the best breeding area. Territorial chasing has already begun.   

Two pairs of Canada Geese circled the marsh in a futile search for a place to land. What water had begun to thaw last week is now frozen up again.

Mourning Dove feathersA male Hairy Woodpecker was excavating a hold in a large poplar tree. Much drumming by both Hairys and Downys was heard.

A few feathers of a luckless Mourning Dove were seen along the road, allowing for close examination.

The flock of Wild Turkeys is still present in the field on Pleasant Street, but it won’t be long until they disappear as the nesting season gets under way.

Canada Goose 4
Mallard 2
Wild Turkey 22
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 13
Downy Woodpecker 3
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Blue Jay 7
American Crow 5
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 22
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
European Starling 5
American Tree Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 5
Northern Cardinal 9
Red-winged Blackbird 32
Common Grackle 20
House Finch 1
House Sparrow 5



west rutland marsh - february monitoring results

Cooper's HawkCaught somewhere between winter and early spring, 13 participants enjoyed today’s walk around West Rutland Marsh. A total of 23 species was counted, one more than last year this time and well above our average of 17 for February.

We started out at the boardwalk with the winter visitors, a large flock of Common Redpolls and a handful of American Tree Sparrows, taking advantage of the feeding station. In the tree above were 15 Red-winged Blackbirds singing konk-a-ree.

A second flock of redpolls was encountered further down the road with five Eastern Bluebirds and three American Robins nearby. A Hairy Woodpecker was heard drumming.

The usual flock of Wild Turkeys was in the field on Pleasant Street. Near the intersection with Whipple Hollow Road, the group had a long, satisfying look at a Cooper’s Hawk. It was close enough that we could see its red eyes.

Bobcat tracks were seen on the frozen river bed in the light coating of snow – clearly cat and clearly much larger than someone’s pet. On Whipple Hollow Road, a live caterpillar was found in a crack in the pavement.

All of today’s bird sightings were reported to eBird and this weekend’s Great Backyard Bird Count.

Mallard 2
Wild Turkey 32
Cooper's Hawk 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon 1
Mourning Dove 26
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 4
American Crow 7
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 27
Tufted Titmouse 4
Carolina Wren 2
Eastern Bluebird 8
American Robin 3
American Tree Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 6
Red-winged Blackbird 15
House Finch 3
Common Redpoll 132 
American Goldfinch 16
House Sparrow 2


west rutland marsh - january monitoring results

an old vireo nest seen on the walkA record was set at West Rutland Marsh this morning with a new January species high of 22. Though not earth-shattering, this is four more than our January average of 18 and two more than last year’s tally.

Fortunately, the predicted deep freeze has not yet arrived so the 10 participants enjoyed a relatively mild walk.

Highlights included a flock of 21 Wild Turkeys in the fields along Pleasant Street and seven Red-winged Blackbirds in a tree on Marble Street.

The group hit the redpoll jackpot with about 75 visiting a feeder at the green (formerly yellow) house on Marble. A single Common Redpoll was seen at another feeder, where a Red-breasted Nuthatch, a species not often seen on this walk, was also visiting.

Golden-crowned Kinglets were heard in the trees along Whipple Hollow Road and the lone raptor of the day was a Red-tailed Hawk soaring high over the ridge.

This marked the 138th time RCAS has made the monitoring trip around the marsh with 1,615 observers to date (albeit with several repeats). 145 species have been seen to date.

Wild Turkey 21
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 9
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Blue Jay 7
American Crow 11
Black-capped Chickadee 30
Tufted Titmouse 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet 3
European Starling 10
American Tree Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 3
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 7
House Finch 7
Common Redpoll 76
American Goldfinch 24
House Sparrow 7


west rutland marsh - december monitoring results

Eleven participants tallied 19 species during the Rutland County Audubon monitoring walk around West Rutland Marsh on December 13, our 137th consecutive walk. This is one more than our December average, but below last year's count of 22.

The species seen were the expected ones with the highlight being a flock of 27 Wild Turkeys feeding in a cornfield. High numbers of Black-capped Chickadees and Mourning Doves were observed.

Also, two participants witnessed an American Black Duck dabbling and coming up with a frog, which it promptly swallowed!

Also, of note we have surpassed the 1600 mark for the number of participants in the monthly walk (albeit with several repeat participants).

Our next West Rutland Marsh monitoring walk is scheduled for Saturday, January 19, 8 a.m.

American Black Duck  1

Mallard  19

Wild Turkey  27

Mourning Dove  43

Downy Woodpecker  3

Hairy Woodpecker  2

Blue Jay  25

American Crow  9

Common Raven  2

Black-capped Chickadee  51

Tufted Titmouse  2

White-breasted Nuthatch  3

European Starling  15

American Tree Sparrow  4

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  1

Northern Cardinal  2

House Finch  11

American Goldfinch  8

House Sparrow  1


west rutland marsh - november monitoring results

Even when the birding is slow, there is always something to look at while at the marsh such as this highbush cranbury, future food for winter birds, and a newly downed tree courtesy of a beaver.Nine birders headed into a bitter north wind for today’s West Rutland Marsh monitoring walk, our 136th consecutive trip around the marsh.

As expected the total number of species is reaching its yearly low with 19 species observed. Still this is one more than our November average of 18. It is, however, well below last year’s unusual high of 27.

A Ruffed Grouse startled the group as it burst out of the woods and flew across the road. A Red-tailed Hawk soared above the marsh. A lone robin’s tut tut was heard. As expected, the most activity was at feeders along Whipple Hollow Road.

American Black Duck 3

Mallard 12

Ruffed Grouse 1

Red-tailed Hawk 1

Rock Pigeon 11

Mourning Dove 4

Downy Woodpecker 2

Blue Jay 10

American Crow 7

Black-capped Chickadee 20

Tufted Titmouse 1

White-breasted Nuthatch 2

American Robin 1

European Starling 1

American Tree Sparrow 3

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 6

House Finch 1

American Goldfinch 7

House Sparrow 2