This month’s Wildlife Walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland were well attended by twelve people who enjoyed some exceedingly good weather while we searched for birds. And we didn’t have to search far as a family of five Carolina Wrens emerged from the hedge in the parking lot as we gathered. Also before we left the parking lot, a Cooper’s Hawk, presented us with an ID challenge as it flew over showing a heavily molted tail, but its size and bulk let on which accipiter species it was. Along the rest of the trails we found lots of evidence of fall migration. Warblers included Common Yellowthroat, Magnolia Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler and a few more we didn’t get a good enough look at to ID. This is also the best time of year to see Vireos as they come down out of the treetops to forage more widely for insects and berries. We were given great chances to see both Red-eyed and Warbling vireos at eye-level.

As usual, we took a quick carpool over to the Hurd Grassland and from there we started off watching a group of Turkey Vultures rising on an early morning thermal. A Sharp-shinned Hawk zipped by overhead catching the notice of nervous Starlings and Blue Jays. A second Sharpie may have also cruised by a few minutes later, or it might have been the same one circling back again. We also had a flyover by a passing Osprey, a species that is also migrating in numbers right now. We enjoyed the antics of a Red-bellied Woodpecker hopping around on a power pole. And we ended our walk with good snacks and pleasant conversation with Gale Hurd.

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