Marsh Meadows Preserve (Audubon IBA) webpage
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Tips for birding Marsh Meadows Preserve
There are few good places to stop to view this wildlife refuge on North Road. The entrance is on Weeden Lane.
About Marsh Meadows Preserve
Located approximately 2.5 miles west of Newport, this IBA is a 78 acre subset of the larger Marsh Meadows Wildlife Preserve which is nestled in the center of Conanicut Island in the community of Jamestown, Rhode Island. The IBA is bounded by a golf course to the south, the Newport Toll Station on State Route 138 to the east, Farmland to the north, and Narraganset Bay West Passage to the west. North Road in Jamestown, RI bisects the marsh. Great Creek, the main tidal creek that drains the marsh, flows beneath North Road via a small span bridge.
Marsh Meadows provides breeding habitat for a number of salt marsh birds including the Saltmarsh and Sharp-tailed Sparrows (Ammodramus caudacutus and A. maritimus), Willets (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), and Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris). A platform erceted on the north side of the marsh is used annually by nesting Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus). Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes and T. melanoleuca), Semipalmated Plovers (Charadrius semipalmatus), Least Sandpipers (Calidris minutilla) and other shorebirds frequent the marsh during spring and fall migrations. Least and Common Terns (Sternula antillarum and Sterna hirundo) peruse the open water areas and tidal creeks looking for mummichogs, killifish, and other small piscine prey, as do Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon). Long-legged waders are abundant during spring and summer and include such species as Great and Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula and Ardea alba), Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius), Little Blue Heron (Egretta cerulea), and Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus. Fringing scrub/shrub zones provide habitat for mimic thrushes, Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), Common Yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas), and Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia), plus a plethora of migratory passerines during spring and autumn migration. Swallows congregate in the area and stage here before continuing southbound migration in autumn. A number of waterfowl also find suitable habitat within the marsh tidal creeks. They include American Black Duck (Anas rubripes), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anas strepera), American Wigeon (Anas americana), Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), and Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola). Other species occur with less regularity.
From Marsh Meadows Preserve (Audubon IBA) webpage