Yesterday morning I biked to through the mist to Stewart Park on the Cayuga 
Waterfront Trail, assiduously inputting every ID into eBird as I went. Passing 
between the TCAT bus garage and Newman Golf Course on Pier Rd, I heard 
something odd, a bit of jumbled rattle, perhaps a distant Gray Catbird. I 
paused to listen. It turned out the sound was not far away, it was close, but 
quiet. At the edge of the golf course, a few feet from where I had stopped, was 
a small ditch, home to some dead cattails. I could have stretched my hands from 
one side of the marsh to the other, and it was only 40 or 50 feet long, with 
vast clipped green lawns on 3 sides. My side had pavement, a bike path along a 
road. But in that cattail patch I heard a subdued Marsh Wren, a species which 
is common in Montezuma, but unusual in Tompkins County. I edged closer, and 
without any further prompting the bird poked its head up and briefly scanned 
me. I imagined its consternation, ending a night of migration by descending 
into fog, desperately searching for - then happily finding - some marsh, but as 
the day brightened discovering that the extent of the marsh was so limited. And 
then humans started coming by, so close! Marsh Wrens seem pretty good at 
hunkering down, but I bet this one looked forward to finding a bigger piece of 

- - Dave Nutter

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