12:30 p.m. in Winooski.  It’s a beautiful sunny day with a breeze to keep the bugs away. I saw some SUMAC in the driveway between my office building and the Millyard Condos. The flowerheads are now red and fuzzy, and when I looked at them closely I could see that the fuzzy red things were seeds. So maybe when they’re green they’re flowering flowerheads, and when they turn red they’re  seedheads? Next year I need to check female SUMACS when I first spot the green so I can see what the buds and flowers look like. I saw a lot of ROBINS and GRACKLES on the Millyard lawn. As I entered the woods behind the Woolen Mill I heard GOLDFINCHES. Above the dam, I saw a GULL on an exposed rock in the middle of the cascades and a CORMORANT flying low over the rushing water. Toward the end of the Riverwalk, I saw TWO GRAY SQUIRRELS chasing each other around a tree trunk. Saw a KINGBIRD perched in a dead stub near the Backwater. (I’m wondering whether I should be calling the BACKWATER a LAGOON? What’s the difference? Does it have to do with which way the water is flowing? I’ll have to check.) A CROW flew over while I was looking at the kingbird. Now I’m hearing a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and a SONG SPARROW. A ways down the Backwater/Lagoon Trail, I heard and saw a GREAT CRESTED FLYCATCHER. There are also ROBINS and GOLDFINCHES back here — and CHICKADEES. Just off to the right of the end of the Backwater/Lagoon Trail, there’s a big open freshly planted grass field. I wonder what will become of it? I had to walk across it to get to the rest of the trail. I wandered along that stretch of trail, which I find quite interesting, until it intersected with the main trail. I heard a PEWEE about then. I’m finding more BLACK RASPBERRIES along these trails. Just ate a handful as I approached the I-89 bridge. Got to the bridge at 1:15 p.m. As I turned and started along the trail that eventually takes me up to Route 15, I heard a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD and noticed CATTAILS off to my left. These CATTAILS mark the beginning of a huge MARSH that stretches almost the length of this trail. There’s a good overview of the whole marsh from the clearing under the powerlines. Just beyond the powerlines, I sat on the stump that says “SIT” and looked out over the marsh. The first part of it is CATTAILS, but then huge, tall PHRAGMITES take over, then it’s cattails again. The stump that says “SIT” is sprouting in several places. Soon I’ll have to sit on the rock behind it or find another sitting place altogether — maybe right under the powerlines where the view is better? As I move along, I’m hearing a RED-EYED VIREO and a loud triller that doesn’t sound quite right for a CHIPPING SPARROW. Could it be a SWAMP SPARROW singing from the marsh? Yes! It’s getting louder and sounds more like a SWAMP SPARROW, and now I hear more than one. Definitely SWAMP SPARROWS. I might be hearing a YELLOW WARBLER too. A little farther along, in some open water visible from the trail, I spotted a WOOD DUCK FAMILY–maybe two? The PHRAGMITES has given way to CATTAILS here.

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