This month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland, as it should do for May, produces may first-of-year birds for the eight people who participants. For example, a Gray Catbird we found was the first seen at the Park this year, as was a Common Yellowthroat and a Warbling Vireo. The first Baltimore Oriole of the year was looking sharp as it sang and immediately started defending its nesting territory. We had great looks at a very cooperative Swamp Sparrow who perched where all could see it atop a Buttonbush. Another sparrow that is currently abundant everywhere is the White-crowned Sparrow, some of which we saw at a feeder across the road from the park.

At the Hurd Grassland Tree Swallows and Eastern Bluebirds appeared busy claiming the nest boxes in the neighborhood. An American Kestrel alarmed the local Blackbirds as it flew by overhead, and later on a Male Northern Harrier did the same as it passed by. Of particular interest at the Hurd property were the arrival of two singing and display Bobolink over the field, and two Eastern Meadowlarks that also dropped down in the grass. And near the area of the property that is now being managed for shrubland birds, two Eastern Towhee were seen and heard telling us to drink our tea. A Black-and-white Warbler was heard squeaking  in a nearby wooded section. And as great capper for our walk, a Brown Thrasher appeared beneath a bush while we were enjoying snacks and conversation with Gale Hurd.

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 12 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