An ominous start today for the four hardy
(crazed?) participants in today's West Rutland
Marsh monitoring walk - thunder, lightening and
torrential rain greeted the day. We were soaked
before we even started.

We were rewarded, however, early on as we watched
a Virginia rail on Water Street take a short
flight over the phragmites (how DO those birds
manage to migrate?). A second Virginia rail was
seen later on Marble St.

A lone chimney swift was observed fluttering
overhead and one house wren skulked in the

Other highlights of the day included 1
blue-headed vireo, 3 red-eyed vireos, 2 alder
flycatchers, 1 Tennesee warbler (bird #120 for
the monthly marsh walk!), 1 black-and-white
warbler, 1 American redstart, 5 yellow-rumped
warblers and 3 common yellowthroats. Swamp
sparrows (18) and gray catbirds (20) seemed to be
A flock of 92 red-winged blackbirds roosting in
the marsh was mostly silent and nearly missed.

Several little wet brown birds went unidentified.

Despite the weather a total of 35 species was
tallied compared to 41 species and 18
participants one year ago!

Sue Elliott

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