A Bobolink carrying food for fledglings at the Hurd Grassland

This month’s wildlife walk was led by Sue Wetmore  from Rutland County Audubon who we wish to thank for helping make for such a fun outing. We were also very pleased to be joined by members of the Mad Birders as well as some other newcomers and several of our regulars. It seemed as though this healthy crowd of birders made the birds want to come to us as a pair of Eastern Kingbird parents busily fed their two fledglings right in the OVP parking lot. An Eastern Phoebe was also found nearby along the trail and Song Sparrows were seen foraging for food along the edges. On the boardwalk we got a quick glimpse of a male Baltimore Oriole and on the river we spied a family of Canada Goose.

We had another nice greeting at the Hurd property from an Eastern Bluebird on a power line, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird flashing it’s beautiful throat while hovering and then briefly perching the limb of a pine tree before zooming with in feet of  part of our group. The biggest surprise of the day was a Common Snipe that flushed from the edge of an island of uncut sedge, landing out of sight just a few feet away on the other side, marking the first time this species has been recorded at the property. In the field the Bobolink were very active in the grass tending to their recently fledged offspring. Other field species were less cooperative and it took the use of a scope to confirm the presence of an Eastern Meadowlark and Savannah Sparrows perched on fence posts on the other side of  Weybridge Rd. The lone raptor of the day was a Red-tailed Hawk that announced itself with a loud call and then soared into view. Not all the birds we saw were ID’d though. One, which was probably an early confusing fall Warbler led to much discussion and debate as we debriefed on the day’s happenings while enjoying snacks in Gale Hurd’s gazebo. In the end that bird had to be left as one that got away, though some observers are having a harder time than others letting it go.

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 Saturday, July 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