Survey of Macnamara Trail Swamp for Rails and Bitterns

Date: July 6th, 2015 Members: 2

Member names: Owen and David Ridgen Distance covered: 1.5 Km (approx.)

Time spent birding: 1.5 hours (5:30 AMN7:00 AM) Time of writing: 1:49 PM

Number of Rails seen: 0 Number of Rails heard: 3 Number of Bitterns heard: 0 Number of Bitterns seen: 0


During the course of our stay, we played many recorded calls (Sora, V Rail, Y Rail, A. Bittern, L. Bittern). Nothing responded to any of them. However, we did hear at least 3 Virginia Rails making their grunt calls, rarely at first, but more frequently as time passed, and the sun rose. Unfortunately, our calls didn’t seemed to faze them, and we could never see one. I scanned the marsh with binoculars several times but could not locate any Bitterns. In fact, I saw no Herons of any kind throughout the survey. Still lots of Swamp Sparrows, Am. Goldfinches, and Y. Warblers. Also Alder Flycatchers. On the way in and out, we saw and heard several species that we did not see on our previous survey.

They include:

3 AM. Redstarts calling by the parking lot

A Flicker in a dead tree at the second boardwalk A male Rose-breasted Grosbeak in the same tree

A Northern Waterthrush hopping around on the second boardwalk Also, the Wood Thrushes are still present.

Out and About

I have some news about a few other birds that Dave and I have found around the town in the past week. We have discovered an (assumed) nesting pair of Eastern Meadowlarks and a Savannah Sparrow in the cow field next to Al’s corner store. The Meadowlark that we have seen likes to perch on the tallest post on the fence line and sing. We have also found a nesting pair of Bobolinks in a fallow field by the tracks near Kinburn. Don’t think the field will be mowed for hay; it seemed disused.

Finally, this morning I found a Marsh Wren at the mouth of the Mississippi. I don’t know if this is useful info for the OFN, but I thought I’d include it.

Owen Ridgen