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Entries in West Rutland Marsh (59)

Saturday
Dec122015

west rutland marsh - december monitoring report

The number of participants was almost more than the number of birds at today’s walk around West Rutland Marsh, our 172nd monthly walk. The species count came in at 21, four less than a year ago, but one more than our December average.         

The balmy weather was the highlight of the day and was perhaps the cause of the low count. There are plenty of fruits and seeds available and, of course, there is no snow cover yet.

American Tree Sparrows, along with chickadees, can be found in good numbers near the feeders by the boardwalk.

Two House Finches were seen, but there was no sign of the Purple Finches what have been widely reported around the state this past week. A Red-bellied Woodpecker was heard, a species only being reported at the marsh in the past couple of years.

The large flock of Wild Turkeys, counted today at 29, continues in the fields near the corner of Pleasant Street and Whipple Hollow Road.

The next count is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, at 8 a.m. Perhaps by then we will have more wintry conditions.

Today’s count:

Wild Turkey  29
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  3
Mourning Dove  12
Red-bellied Woodpecker  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Hairy Woodpecker  2
Pileated Woodpecker  2
Blue Jay  9
American Crow  6
Common Raven  3
Black-capped Chickadee  31
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
European Starling  1
American Tree Sparrow  11
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  3
Northern Cardinal  3
House Finch  2
American Goldfinch  31
House Sparrow  3

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

Thursday
Sep242015

west rutland marsh - september monitoring report

A perfect fall day at West Rutland Marsh! Eight participants tallied 42 species, five more than last year at this time, but by no means our highest for September (51 was the count in 2008). Our average for this month is 36.

There is still a bit of marsh sound – both Swamp Sparrows and Marsh Wrens are singing bits of songs and a Virginia Rail was heard as well. But birds are definitely on the move. Many Blue Jays were observed, most in loose flocks, and a single Broad-winged Hawk was clearly on a mission. A Sharp-shined Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk completed the raptor numbers.

Migrating warblers were represented by Blackpoll, Palm, Yellow-rumped and Black-throated Green warblers. Common Yellowthroats are hanging on to their usual spots, but are diminished in number.

a Meadowhawk dragonflyA single Indigo Bunting, with only remnants of blue, was observed.

As is typical of fall, sparrows are much in evidence. White-throated Sparrows have returned to the marsh. Lincoln’s Sparrows and Eastern Towhees were also counted.

Our next marsh walk is scheduled for Saturday, October 17.

Today’s list:

Canada Goose  6
Wood Duck  3
Mallard  7
Great Blue Heron  4
Turkey Vulture  1
Sharp-shinned Hawk  1
Broad-winged Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Virginia Rail  1
Mourning Dove  3
Belted Kingfisher  2
Downy Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  3
Northern Flicker  3
Eastern Phoebe  9
Blue Jay  63
American Crow  26
Common Raven  2
Black-capped Chickadee  12
White-breasted Nuthatch  3
Marsh Wren  2
Golden-crowned Kinglet  1
American Robin  1
Gray Catbird  13
Cedar Waxwing  13
Common Yellowthroat  3
Blackpoll Warbler  1
Palm Warbler  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  3
Black-throated Green Warbler  1
White-throated Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  4
Lincoln's Sparrow  2
Swamp Sparrow  18
Eastern Towhee  3
Northern Cardinal  1
Indigo Bunting  1
Red-winged Blackbird  24
Common Grackle  2
House Finch  1
American Goldfinch  10
House Sparrow  10

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