OCAS board member, Carol Ramsayer, examining the scattered feathers of a Corvid.

It was a cool and breezy morning for the eight people who out for this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. One of our first sightings was a passing Tree Swallow, the first seen at the park this spring. Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows were singing from the marsh with the Red-winged Blackbirds. On the river there was a male Mallard, likely one of a pair that has taken up residence in the area recently. Canada Goose and a Muskrat were also seen on the water. As we headed back we spotted a soaring Cooper’s Hawk that we were able to easily scale against Goldfinch flying nearby.

When we arrived at the Hurd property we saw an Osprey flying over the east side of the field which headed in the direction of Otter Creek. A male Bluebird was watching from the top of a nest box as a female brought nesting material inside, while a pair of Tree Swallows seemed to be staking their claim to an adjacent box. In the upper field we enjoyed long looks at a male Kestrel as it moved from perch to perch. Recent Kestrel activity in the area leads me to believe that they might be planning on nesting in the vicinity. In the lower field we found a cluster of Crow feathers on the ground with no sign of any other remains nearby. Whatever caught that Crow clearly carried its body off after removing the feathers. We ended our walk revising our high count of Goldfinches while watching them crowding around Gale Hurd’s feeders.

All our bird sightings have been submitted to eBird and full checklists can be viewed at the following links:
Otter View Park
Hurd Grassland

Our Next walk will take place Saturday, May12 at 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