The Tinmounth Channel Wildlife Management Area is Rutland County's birding hidden treasure. The 450-acre wetland, one of only three Class I protected wetlands in Vermont, can sometimes be difficult to negotiate, but it is well worth the effort.
Tinmouth Channel can be explored on foot or by water. There are two access points for walking in. Click here for a map of wildlife management area. The northern access is just west of the parking area shown on the map. The western access is marked with a sign and information kiosk.
Both trails are frequently overgrown and can be muddy, but birding also worthwhile along the road. Brown Thrasher, Golden-winged Warbler and Eastern Towhee have been seen in the area across the road from the north access. Twenty species of warblers have been recorded at Tinmouth Channel WMA in May. Both Northern and Louisiana Waterthrush are present spring and summer as well as Canada Warbler. Fall sightings include Hermit Thrush and Fox Sparrow.
Canoeing or kayaking is best done in the spring through June, as accessibility is dependent on water levels. You can put in just west of the channel on North End Road where a short, fairly concealed path leads to the water. You will soon have the feeling of being in a remote area as the Clarendon River winds slowly south. Virginia Rails and Marsh Wrens are among the birds that nest here. American Bittern, Great Blue Heron, Alder Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler, and Swamp Sparrow are present. Wood Duck, American Black Duck, Mallard, and Hooded Merganser are frequently seen and breed here as well.
Because this is a wildlife management area, it is open for hunting. Check the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website for hunting seasons.