Participants in the May wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland were treated to one of the best weather days of the year so far, and an outstanding group of birds. And we didn’t have to wait long to see them, either. As we were gathering in the parking lot of the park a Green Heron flew overhead, and not a few minutes later a Northern Mockingbird was spotted flying to a property on Pulp Mill Bridge Rd, marking only the second time one had been reported from the park. Down on the boardwalk we were treated to the beautiful sounds of a Wood Thrush’s, and better yet, we were able to observe the singer perched at the top of a tree. Since our last walk the park has filled up with returning nesting species such as Warbling Vireo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat and Baltimore Oriole, all of which were seen and heard by our group. Eastern Kingbirds were also seen as we made our way back around the trail.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we had Brown Thrasher singing from a hedge near the start of the trail. Further down we discovered that no Grassland birds have apparently decided to use the field yet this year. The most exciting sighting of the day came from this vantage point when we saw an immature Northern Goshawk circling upwards accompanied by scolding blackbirds and swallows until it suddenly stooped powerfully out of sight. In the shrubby section of the property we had a singing Field Sparrow that accommodated us with good looks at it, and an Eastern Towhee singing from out of sight near by. A Merlin was seen flying around a couple of times calling noisily as it did. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were also back zooming around the property, one of which some of us got to watch doing its “U” shaped display flight. If there was one small disappointment about this walk, it was the lack of migrating warblers, the only example of which we saw was a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

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, June 9 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.