With a cool and dewy morning, things were very quiet for the start of this month’s Monthly Wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. As we worked our way down the boardwalk at the the park things started to pick up when a Green Heron flushed from the cattails a few feet away from our group. At the very end of the boardwalk noisy Tufted Titmice announced the presences of a group of migrant birds including Red-eyed Vireos, Magnolia Warbler and a Blackpoll Warbler. As we were observing this flock, just a few yards away from us on the boardwalk we spotted a small mammal sneaking in and out between the foot rails. Initially we thought it was a Chipmunk, but a look at its tail protruding from cover showed a black tip, revealing it to be a Weasel! And just to make us sure of the ID, it crossed back and forth on the boardwalk in plain view of everyone. Another interesting find along the trail was a Garter Snake skin inside the same bird house we saw a Garter Snake sunning itself on during our July walk.

At the Hurd Grassland, we had another quiet start until we got around to the shrubby section in the lower fields. In the edge of the trees on the east side, among Cardinals, Song Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats, we found a Brown Thrasher and a Wilson’s Warbler. One of the resident Red-tailed Hawks made an appearance as we got to the north end of the field. At the end of our walk, we watched a good size flock of American Goldfinches visiting Gale Hurd’s feeders and Sunflowers. Gale also reported a Ruby-throated Hummingbird visited her feeders earlier in the morning, but it didn’t show up while we were there.

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, October 9 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
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