On August 16, 2001, 15 Rutland County Audubon members and supporters set out to count the birds seen and heard around West Rutland Marsh. Forty-five species were observed that day, including Least Bittern. Little did we think that 10 years later we would still be at it. In 120 months 1,395 observers (including two dear friends no longer with us) tallied 143 species.  

Today's hot, humid weather was not enough to deter nine participants from marking the occasion. Forty-eight species were noted, right on target for our 10-year average, but short of last year's 53 species.

Highlights were Virginia Rail, including young squeaking in the cattails, and Marsh Wrens and Swamp Sparrows carryng food for young. A Black-billed Cuckoo was heard and a Brown Thrasher was seen. Fifteen Common Yellowthroats were tallied, but only one Yellow Warbler. The only raptors for the day were a Red-tailed Hawk and a Broad-winged Hawk.

Next month's marsh walk, and the start of another decade, is scheduled for Saturday, August 20 at 7 a.m.

Sue Elliott