Searching for sparrows in fall colors.

Sunny crisp and beautiful, we couldn’t have asked for better weather for this month’s walk at the Otter View Park and Hurd Grassland. The birds were very accommodating as well. In the shrubs along the trail a flock of Sparrows including Song and White-crowned popped up. On the other side of the trail we spotted some motion in the trees that with patience we were able to identify as a Blackpoll Warbler and two Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Along the boardwalk in the marsh it sounded like spring again with Red-wing Blackbirds singing their “kon-ka-ree” song. We got good looks at a Catbird and White-throated Sparrow, and a brief glimpse of a passing Sharp-shinned Hawk. On our way back at the start of the boardwalk we found a mixed flock of Blackpoll and Yellow-rumped Warblers which obligingly flitted on an Apple tree in plain view.

At the Hurd property it had warmed up enough that we were ready to shed some layers. We also found a sprinkling of Yellow-rumped Warblers in the shrubs along the upper field there. A large flock of American Goldfinch was up high in the crown of a tree eating some of this year’s abundant wild grapes from vines which had climbed up to that height. The best sightings came in the lower field where we flushed a bird that turned out to be a Black-billed Cuckoo deeper into the brush. While trying unsuccessfully to get another look at it on the back side of the hedge we found a Pine Warbler on a dead Pine tree. Both of those species were firsts for our lists at the property.

Our Next walk will take place Thursday, November 8 at 8:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

Full list of birds seen at Otter View Park.

Full list of birds seen at the Hurd Grassland.

– Ron Payne

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