This months wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place in the heart of breeding season, and as you would expect there was plenty of breeding activity for us to see. At the park, a Blue Jay was seen diligently siting on its nest. Two active Baltimore Oriole nests near the board walk were filled with peeping young who spoke up when the parents came in to deliver food. In the same area we also saw a fledgling Common Grackle. While looking at the creek we went over the finer points of Tree Swallow and Northern Rough-winged Swallow identification. Also interesting was a Garter Snake seen sunning itself on the trunk of a broken tree spotted from quite a distance by a sharp-eyed participant.

At the Hurd Grassland, we were impressed by the number of nest boxes occupied by Tree Swallows, and hope that they left room for an Eastern Bluebird seen in the area too. Down in the field this year there haven’t been any signs of nesting Bobolink, but with the local fields just being cut now, so it’s possible we might get some refugees taking advantage of the grass soon. An Eastern Meadowlark seen popping up from the grass let us know the area hasn’t gone to waste. In the shrubby section of the property we heard an Eastern Towhee and a Alder Flycatchers, and saw a nearby Brown Thrasher singing from an exposed perch, which tells us this habitat may be working well now. Butterflies were seen everywhere on the property including Common Ringlets, Little Wood Satyrs, Azures and Viceroy. And as we were about done with our walk, we spotted an American Kestrel hunting by hovering over the field.

 

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, July 11 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

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