This December’s monthly wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland was marked by unseasonably warm weather which stood in stark contrast to last year’s walk which took place the day after a blizzard. As we arrived at the park, a very active flock including Carolina Wren, Chickadees, Tufted Titmouse and Downy Woodpecker was very active in the bushes near the parking lot. Down along the the boardwalk, we took note of newly constructed Muskrat lodges that had popped up in the marsh. From the end of the boardwalk we were impressed by the mirror-like smoothness of the Otter Creek, and also from there we scoped a Red-tailed Hawk in a tree down river.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we worked on the difference between House Finches and a Purple Finch eating seeds together at the top of an Ash tree. We found a spider taking advantage of the warm weather to remain active in the grass. The resident Red-tailed Hawk as usual complained of our presence by screaming while soaring above us as we walked the trails. In an adjacent field we spied five Eastern Bluebirds alternating between perches and foraging on the ground. And we had a good look at a pair of Northern Flickers in the trees along the trails.

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, Dec. 12 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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