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Entries in Bird Monitoring (61)

Saturday
Apr232016

west rutland marsh - april monitoring report

American BitternA stiff north wind dispelled any notion that spring is here to stay. Nevertheless a record 31 participants showed up for the 177th monitoring walk around West Rutland Marsh. Forty-four species were tallied, more than last year's 37 and two above our April average.

The day was off to a good start when the ‘kidick kidick’ of a Virginia Rail was heard near the boardwalk. Shortly after that sharp eyes spotted an American Bittern lurking along the not yet emerged reeds. Even then it was hard to spot! Wilson’s Snipe was also heard ‘woo woo woo-ing’ and a lucky few spotted it.

If there is any doubt that nesting season is already underway, six goslings were spotted with a Canada Goose. A Blue Jay was seen carrying nesting material and its fellow corvid, a Common Raven, was carrying a sizeable bit of food. Two Belted Kingfishers were spotted near a likely nest hole above one of the quarries.

Raptors were well-represented: Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Peregrine Falcon and American Kestrel. Ten Turkey Vultures were also seen.

No Tree Swallows were seen, but three cold-looking Northern Rough-winged Swallows were huddled in a bare tree.

A Winter Wren was heard deep in the woods along Whipple Hollow Road and Marsh Wrens (2) were heard along Water Street and near the boardwalk.

A lingering American Tree Sparrow was spotted near the feeders at the kiosk. Swamp Sparrows have wasted no time and are singing throughout the marsh.

The next marsh walk is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, 7 a.m.

Today's list:

Canada Goose  29
Wood Duck  1
Mallard  7
Hooded Merganser  2
American Bittern  2
Great Blue Heron  1
Turkey Vulture  10
Northern Harrier  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Virginia Rail  1
Wilson's Snipe  3
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  2
Mourning Dove  10
Belted Kingfisher  2
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Downy Woodpecker  2
Northern Flicker  6
American Kestrel  1
Peregrine Falcon  1
Eastern Phoebe  3
Blue Jay  3
American Crow  4
Common Raven  2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  3
Black-capped Chickadee  12
Tufted Titmouse  3
Winter Wren  1
Marsh Wren  2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  4
American Robin  9
European Starling  3
Cedar Waxwing  2
American Tree Sparrow  1    near feeders at kiosk; present consisently all winter
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  4
White-throated Sparrow  3
Song Sparrow  14
Swamp Sparrow  16
Northern Cardinal  5
Red-winged Blackbird  26
Common Grackle  8
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  24
House Sparrow  3

 

 

Saturday
Feb132016

west rutland marsh - february monitoring report

Four hardy souls braved today’s frigid temperature and wind for this morning’s 175th consecutive monthly monitoring walk around West Rutland Marsh. Despite the weather, 18 species were tallied. This compares to 20 species a year ago.

None of the species were unexpected, but a small flock of Cedar Waxwings looked beautiful in flight in the morning light. Two Common Ravens were vocalizing and fussing near their usual nest site in the quarries.

A single American Robin was eating berries while chickadees were taking advantage of the various feeders along the route. American Tree Sparrows were also much in evidence at the feeders.

At the halfway point, with the wind at our backs and in full sun, the walk turned into a very pleasant experience.

Today’s list:

Mourning Dove  8
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  14
American Crow  8
Common Raven  2
Black-capped Chickadee  34
Tufted Titmouse  2
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
Carolina Wren  1
American Robin  1
European Starling  9
Cedar Waxwing  12
American Tree Sparrow  13
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  13
Northern Cardinal  6
American Goldfinch  10
House Sparrow  4

Thursday
Nov192015

west rutland marsh - november monitoring report

Once again the predicted bad weather did not materialize for today’s monitoring walk around West Rutland Marsh. Seven participants, enjoying the warmer temperatures, tallied 24 species. This beats last year’s count of 19 and our November average of 19.

A woodie, a hoodie and mallards – ducks somehow seem appropriate to the marsh as it slips into dormancy, but while there is still open water. One each of the first two species was seen while Mallards, in small groups, were tucked here and there in the reeds.

Also appropriate to the season, Wild Turkey was seen in abundance – a flock of 37 near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Whipple Hollow Road. A Ruffed Grouse was also observed in low flight across a weedy field and into the woods along Whipple Hollow Road.

Highbush CranberryA highlight of the walk was an immature Northern Harrier sweeping across the length of the marsh. A Red-tailed Hawk was in flight along the ridge.

A Purple Finch was observed munching on ash seeds in the same area one was seen during the October walk.

American Tree Sparrows have taken up their winter quarters by the feeders near the boardwalk. They and Dark-eyed Juncos were the only sparrow species observed today.

Our next walk is scheduled for Saturday, December 12 at 8 a.m.

Today’s list:

Wood Duck  1
Mallard  13
Hooded Merganser  1
Ruffed Grouse  1
Wild Turkey  36
Northern Harrier  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
Mourning Dove  23
Downy Woodpecker  5
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  9
American Crow  11
Black-capped Chickadee  26
Tufted Titmouse  5
European Starling  21
American Tree Sparrow  6
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  4
Northern Cardinal  2
House Finch  1
Purple Finch  2
American Goldfinch  9
House Sparrow  3

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

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