Bluebird on a birdhouse steeple at the Hurd Grassland in Weybridge.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather for this month’s monthly wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. Right at the start an Eastern Kingbird greeted us at the parking lot and a Yellow Warbler was spotted in a treetop not far away. Down at the end of the boardwalk we watched a female Baltimore Oriole struggle to pull up a strand of grass and then watched her weaving it into her nest. Four River Otters were swimming together in the creek while both Solitary and Spotted Sandpipers were flying from log to log and foraging from them. The alarm call of Red-winged Blackbirds alerted us that we should look up into the sky where we saw a Sharp-shinned Hawk. A similar commotion was heard when a  Red-tailed Hawk passed overheard, but when an Osprey went by the Blackbirds payed no attention to it at all. It’s amazing how specific they are about what is and isn’t a threat.

At the Hurd Grassland a male Eastern Bluebird was seen diligently catching insects and transferring them to either his mate or young inside a nest box. In the fields we found Eastern Meadowlarks, Savannah Sparrows and a Bobolink, and in a narrower section of the property which is being allowed to go to shrub, we heard an Eastern Towhee, all of which tells us the management plan for the property is going well. Migrant Warblers were unfortunately in short supply with the only slight oddities being a Chestnut-sided Warbler and a Nashville Warbler, both of which were only heard and not seen. A Red-tailed Hawk was seen repeatedly over the fields and a Cooper’s Haw was seen soaring by as well. Butterflies were also very active with a variety of sulfurs and whites punctuated by sightings of Black Swallowtail, Meadow Fritillary and Pearl Crescent. Our walk end with the beautiful sound of singing White-crowned Sparrows and the sight of nesting Tree and Barn Swallows.

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

Our Next walk will take place Thursday, June 14 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