A Cooper's Hawk in the Otter View Park neighborhood

A Cooper’s Hawk in the Otter View Park neighborhood

It was a lovely calm and sunny morning for this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. We struggled to find anything but Crows, Jays and Starlings at the start of our walk, but once we got to the end of the boardwalk  things picked up a bit. A Muskrat was seen swimming in the still unfrozen Otter Creek, and we had the fun of “pishing” Chickadee flock out of the brush and have it pass by us very closely. On our way back, a Red-bellied Woodpecker was spotted at the top of a tree on Pulp Mill Bridge Rd. The biggest excitement of the day was a Cooper’s Hawk which was seen flying up from the ground from behind nearby houses, and then was found again perched in a nearby tree giving us a good view of it.

At the Hurd property, a large flock of 50 or more Starlings were swarming over a stand of Sumac eating the fruit. Blue Jays repeatedly crossed the fields creating problems for the people trying to count them, and we flushed a flock of 17 Mourning Doves from some trail-side trees. A Red-tailed Hawk was spotted in a neighboring field, and while we watched, it flew to the top of a power pole and did a good impression of an insulator. Gale Hurd’s feeders were unusually quiet at first, hosting only four American Goldfinches, but as we viewed them, flocks of Cardinals and Dark-eyed Juncos seemed to come in purposely from long distance away to visit.

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

Our Next walk will take place Thursday  December 13 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