This month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland were marked by a lack of the expected March migrants. Usually Red-winged blackbirds arrive at the park around the first of of the month, but they appear to have been delayed by this winter’s deep-freeze. Singing Cardinals and Carolina Wrens, and drumming Downy Woodpeckers did their job of heralding the coming spring though. The most fun sighting at the park came while we were on the boardwalk in the marsh when we spotted a Mink scampering along the bank.

At the Hurd Grassland we were pleased to spot a group of Eastern Bluebirds along a fence-line. The fields are rapidly losing their snow cover and this revealed a dead short-tailed shrew. A Red-tailed Hawk was being harassed by a group of Crows, one of which was seen carrying nesting material. In an adjacent field we observed a large flock of Starlings and American Robins eating berries from Sumac. We were happy to hear one, and see another Red-bellied Woodpecker, and enjoyed seeing a Black-capped Chickadee taking a drink from a dripping sapcicle on an old Maple Tree.

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 are submitted to the Vermont Atlas of Life.

Our Next walk will take place Saturday, March 14 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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