White-breasted Nuthatch – Photo by Gary Starr

Led by Warren King, our seven walk participants this month had the luck of catching end of  a string of unseasonably warm November weather making for a pleasant excursion. Everyone noted the beauty of the Winterberry Holly shrubs which were heavy with fruit in the parking lot of Otter View Park. Down at the boardwalk we found a small flock of White-throated Sparrow, making light “seet” calls and scratching through the leaves under the bushes. Further along we spotted another sparrow that some folks, clearly having trouble  making the transition from autumn to winter, initially mistook for a Chipping Sparrow but it was in fact an American Tree Sparrow. On our way back out of the boardwalk we enjoyed watching a flock of Juncos and Robins bathing  in the stream that runs into the marsh.

At the Hurd Property we were treated to the sight of a Northern Flicker flying in near perfect light that allowed us to clearly see its beautiful yellow shafted flight feathers. An Orange Sulfur Butterfly was seen, which might have been considered unusual in normally cool and wet November, but this month they have been very common in Vermont. Deeper in the field an Eastern Meadowlark briefly popped up out of the grass and landed again not far from the trail. Since not everyone got a good look at it we took the opportunity to flush it again giving everyone a great look view of it. Along the shrub line we spotted a small flock of Cedar Waxwing and finches were abundant as usual at Gale Hurd’s excellent bird feeders.

All our sightings have been submitted to eBird and you can read the full checklists at the following links:
Otter View Park checklist.
Hurd Grassland checklist.

Our Next walk will take place Saturday, December 10, 8:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

– Ron Payne

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