West Rutland Marsh in the morning, an area the locals used to just call “the swamp” at a strange confluence of mountains, power lines, and old marble quarries. And these days a hotspot for birders, like the census-conducting group I ran into this morning. It’s a site that’s got a lot of physical beauty of its own, which I try to capture in between making images of the wildlife. To an extent it defies my efforts – like so many landscapes where I can and cannot get to, the points of access, are controlled by nature with no input from me.
But that’s all the landscapes for now – a few more to come in another post – lets get down to the critters. The photos below are of a Alder or Willow Flycatcher. In the end I went with an ID of Alder Flycatcher, because the habitat and behavior patterns seemed to add up a little better, but the two species are so similar that it’s almost impossible to tell. In either case it’s another new species for my list.
Missing were the Wrens and Kingbirds of my past visits, which I’ll attribute to timing; my previous summer visits were all in July and this one was in mid-June. A couple of weeks makes a big difference when it comes to species presence and development. What hasn’t changed is the nesting boxes along the bridge road, which are filled with Tree Swallows.
These guys are always there, the parents busy carrying food to and from the nest boxes. They remind me of fighter planes, swooping after insects, catching many of them. Back at home their young are impatient, like this little one, the next meal never coming fast enough.
One last shot to wrap up the marsh, something simple – a Red Clover in full blossom and still fresh with the morning dew. Or some poetic crap like that. It was a spot of color in a landscape that is otherwise dominated by greens and yellows and, photographed with the telephoto, gave me some nice separation from the background.