As usual the second Saturday of the month featured our wildlife walk at Otter view Park and the Hurd Grassland. This one occurred on a sunny, yet surprisingly cold morning, though unlike last year’s April walk, we did not have any snow on the ground. Despite the chill, many birds were in full voice as we started off, in particular, Tufted Titmice were vehement in giving their “peter-peter” call throughout the morning. As we started down the park trail a Canada Goose flew directly overhead on its way to the creek where we later saw it placidly floating. Under the boardwalk we puzzled over a cluster of earthworms in the stream runoff, and nearby we also spotted a bobcat track in eroded silt. Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds were all singing their territorial songs from the marsh.

At the Hurd Grassland we were treated to good views of a pair of Eastern Bluebirds as they visited a nest box, then went out to the field where one repeatedly dropped from a perch to grab insects from the ground. A pair of Kestrels were seen in the lower fields, the male hunting by hovering while the female watched nearby from a tree top. A Sharp-shinned Hawk was also spotted cruising overhead scaring all the small birds in the area. Plenty of Dark-eyed Juncos were singing from the hedgerows in the lower field, and the “sweet canada” song of White-throated Sparrows was heard several times. Also interesting was a Northern Flicker that was seen eating berries from a Staghorn Sumac.

 

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, Apr. 9 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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