Eight people came out for this month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on what could only be described as a perfect morning for birding. Sunny and cool with a very pleasant light breeze creating beautiful swirling cloud formations in the sky above us. We started off to the sounds of a Carolina Wren and worked to get views of an Eastern Phoebe flitting in the trees. We stopped to check out a new beaver dam under the boardwalk which has effectively created a pool in an otherwise drying marsh. We took note of blooming thistle flowers that were being torn apart by Goldfinches. A Warbling Vireo and Red-eyed Vireo were sighted at eye level browsing for insects in the bushes. A Belted Kingfisher was seen perched on a low snag down river and we had a nice look at a Baltimore Oriole as it flew across the marsh and perched up high in an Ash Tree.

When we arrived at the Hurd Grassland we had a nice lineup of birds along a power line, from right to left, and Eastern Bluebird, a Mourning Dove, an American Goldfinch, a House Sparrow and most unusually, a young Yellow Warbler. Down in the partially cut filed, there was an abundance of Red-winged Blackbirds, mostly juveniles, seen feeding in the grass. One of the best sightings of the day was a Monarch Butterfly seen nectaring on so Bull thistle. An Osprey was seen flying high above the property calling, likely one from a nearby nest on Morgan Horse Farm Rd. We spent some time trying to tease a couple of pairs of Common Yellowthroats out of bushes but only managed the briefest of glimpses at them. Finally, on our way in to visit Gale Hurd, we enjoyed having a look at the nearly ready to fledge Barn Swallows in a nest on her stoop.

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, Sept. 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