With a bit a of a nip in the air, 12 participants bundled up and set out for this morning's 125th West Rutland Marsh monitoring walk. Twenty-two species were tallied, two more than last year and higher than our 11-year average of 18.

Highlights included an immature Bald Eagle. This is the second time this species has been observed, the other being in January of 2008. A Ring-billed Gull was flying over the marsh, another species not frequently seen.

A record high of 107 Mallards was observed (along with a single American Black Duck). Most of the water at the marsh remains open.

American Black Duck  1
Mallard  107
Bald Eagle  1
Red-tailed Hawk  2
Ring-billed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  5
Mourning Dove  8
Downy Woodpecker  2
Hairy Woodpecker  1
Pileated Woodpecker  1
Blue Jay  6
American Crow  8
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  30
Tufted Titmouse  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  8
American Tree Sparrow  7
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)  5
House Finch  5
American Goldfinch  3
House Sparrow  14
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Next marsh walk: Thursday, January 19, 8 a.m.

Sue Elliott