Sure enough we came across a swamp exactly where he said we would and found an active rookery with at least 6-8 nests. Some were difficult to see since they were against the far shore and there were lots of dead trees so everything blended in together.
We did have great looks at young Red-winged Blackbirds still in the nest area begging food.
And the parent birds were coming and going, busy patrolling the area and somewhat concerned that we had pulled up next to their swamp.
But the surprise for us was to find a very active colony of Virginia Rails. They seemed to be calling from every section of the marsh and we assumed they were trying to keep their young somewhat rounded up together.
We had lots of brief looks of them darting through the reeds....and every once in a while once actually stayed out in the open long enough for me to get a couple of good shots.
What we realized as we were leaving the area was that this marsh was just outside our circle for the Sturbridge Christmas Count. It's amazing to see these places year after year in winter and then see what looks like a totally different place (which it is sort of) when the breeding birds are around.