On Saturday, June 25, OCAS and the Middlebury Area Land Trust held our annual beginning birder’s walk at Wright Park in Middlebury. Twenty-four beginning birder’s of all ages, many equipped with OCAS’s binoculars, broke into three groups led by OCAS President Ron Payne, board member Craig Zondag and former MALT Executive Director Josh Phillips and searched for birds around the various trails of the Park. The trails and bridges were all in tip-top shape due to the efforts of MALT’s staff and volunteers, which made for enjoyable walking. One group got a great look at a Baltimore Oriole after it chased off a Crow. Another group got to see a Great-crested Flycatcher entering a nest hole in a tree. Everyone learned songs of abundant birds like Ovenbirds, Red-eyed Vireos and Wood Thrushes.

There were three stops along our walking routes, one at a display of bird nests, another diverged from the birding theme with a display of fur-bearing mammals and the last was as stop at the quest trail goal box for snacks and a look through a spotting scope. At the end of the walk there was watermelon served by MALT executive director, Carl Robinson, and a Broad-winged Hawk which circled up into the air above the parking lot.

If you missed it, remeber that begenning birders are always welocme at our Monthly Wildlife Walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on the second Saturday of every month. And another dedicated walk for beginning birders will take place during Dead Creek Days in Addison on October 1st. Please see our Calander of Events for more information.

– Ron Payne