As one might expect, signs of autumn were all around us for this month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland, beautiful foliage and skeins of Canada Geese creating a seasonal backdrop throughout the morning. At Otter View Park, White-throated Sparrows responded to “pishing” in the swale along the trail. A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was found near the head of the boardwalk, and another spotted further down. A Hermit Thrush was seen flashing its rufuous tail in shrubs, where nearby a Red Squirrel was seen eating rose hips. And Yellow-rumped Warblers were all over the place announcing their presence with their “chep” calls.

At the Hurd Grassland we found a White-crowned Sparrow in some dogwood bushes along with a flock of Song Sparrows. An Eastern Meadowlark was flushed from along the trail in the field becoming a life bird for an walk participant from Californina. Wooley Bear Caterpillars were seen in several places in the grass showing broad brown bands which purportedly predict a mild winter. Another great find was a newly emerged Monarch Butterfly nectaring on Red Clover, it’s wings still not yet fully expanded. The best sighting of the day came when we were having refreshments at Gale Hurd’s. A Lincon’s Sparrow popped up atop a bush in her yard, the first time this species was seen at the property, raising the all-time species count to 117.

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