This month’s wildlife walk occurred on on a pleasantly crisp windless Saturday morning conveniently tucked between a few days of less amenable weather allowing for a nice walk with some nice sightings. A Brown Creeper spotted climbing a tree on the edge of the creek before flying past us on the boardwalk was an uncommon find. We were surprised to find so few Canada Geese on the creek with only three appearing from a hidden inlet downriver from us. A Red-tailed Hawk passed overhead looking very vivid in beams of sunlight breaking through the clouds, and when the Geese took off from the river, we enjoyed looking at them in similar lighting as well. Back on the trail above the marsh we spotted two Carolina Wrens crossing between the hedges and near the parking lot we flushed a Cottontail Rabbit from the weeds while examining a Robin’s nest in a Staghorn Sumac that had gone unnoticed throughout breeding season.

At the Hurd Grassland, as we walked along the trail we were met by the scream of a Red-tailed hawk and wondered whether it was complaining about us or if its call was in reaction to another member of its species seen flying to the north. We were impressed by the unusually large number of Rock Pigeons that were perched on the silos of the farm across the road. We also spotted a Bruce Spanworm Moth, one of the few members of order Lepidoptera adapted to this time of year flying in search of a mate. The large flock of Canada Geese we were missing at Otter View Park were seen descending towards the Creek from grassland fields. Our outing ended watching Blue Jays up close and personal at Gale Hurd’s feeders while drinking warm cider.

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, December 12 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