Newly Fledged Red-winged Blackbird

Newly Fledged Red-winged Blackbird

Six observers came together on Thursday, taking advantage of a  deserved break in the rain to enjoy this month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. A nice start at the parking lot was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings observed dropping into the bushes and feeding on some ripening berries there. Along the boardwalk, one of the highlights of the day was a recently fledged Red-winged Blackbird sitting in the brush awaiting its parent’s care. Near the Creek we saw a female Baltimore Oriole enter a nest in an Ash tree, the male somewhere out of sight nearby singing. A Virginia Rail was heard giving its “grunt” call from the marsh as we traveled both up and down the boardwalk, but on our return trip, we also heard the peeping of a Rail chick in the reeds as well. As we came back up the ramp from the boardwalk, we heard a begging chick in the bushes which turned out to be a Brown-headed Cowbird fledgling being tended to by an unwitting Song Sparrow foster parent.

At the Hurd Grassland there was a lot of nesting in evidence with Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows in bird boxes, and Barn Swallows  making use of an entryway of a home. A Brown Thrasher popped up in a hedge near the start of the trail and gave everyone a good look. Eastern Meadowlarks were seen in the field, calling very vocally, though disappointing some by not singing their more melodious song. A male Bobolink was perched on some milkweed, singing on an apparent territory, and a Savannah Sparrow was heard singing from the cow pastures across the road.  An interesting sight was a flock of 34 Canada Goose flying north, likely failed nesters and unpaired individuals headed to safe summering grounds. More signs that the shrubby section of the property is progressing as planned were an Eastern Towhee, Chestnut-sided Warbler and Alder Flycatcher making use of the habitat. We ended our walk watching male and female Ruby-throated Hummingbirds visiting Gale Hurd’s feeders.

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

Other wildlife sightings have been submitted to the Vermont Atlas of Life.

Our Next walk will take place Thursday, June 11 at 7:00 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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