I will tell you right off I was not successful in finding Rusty Blackbirds. The day was right, the habitat was perfect, but they were just not around. They don’t stay here. They just pass through on their way north this time of year. I was hoping I might catch a few along their way. Not today.
I rose pretty early and was up at the South Hero Marsh Trail by 6:00. It was a cloudy day so it was just light and the birds were already singing. The trail is an old rail bed so it is pretty much a straight line, running alongside a marsh with reedy areas and open water. I could hear geese out on the water and a loon called a few times. Grackles and Red-Winged Blackbirds and Robins were trying to outdo each other. The place is thick with silver maples and large wet areas, puddles of a sort, dot the forest floor. I was hoping one of the rust-colored blackbirds might be flipping leaves looking for some breakfast next to one of those puddles. Breakfast, apparently, was served elsewhere today.
I did find a lot of birds. Woodpeckers ruled the place–Flickers and Downies and Hairies. I got a good look at a Golden Crowned Kinglet, my first sighting of the year, and then another of a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. I saw Wood Ducks and Green-Winged Teal and watched a Purple Finch sing up the morning. Ospreys soared overheard, crying out, and Snipes whistled over the wetland. It was a great morning to be out, even if it was chilly enough for the down jacket.
I stopped for coffee on the way home. The cashier asked if I was going fishing. Fishing season opened last weekend in Vermont. I told her I was not. I had already been out for two hours but I just said “No, not today. Good day for it though.” And I headed home, looking forward to a hot omelet.