The occurrence of this month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland was  in some doubt up to the evening before due to some ominous weather forecast, but when the morning came, we discovered we had nice window of placid weather in which we cold get our walk in. As we started off we noted a very agitated Song Sparrow which has been a constant presence in the park since May, and which must have a nest in the shrubs around the parking lot. Down on the boardwalk we spent some time observing the activity around a Mulberry tree with ripe fruit that was attracting a variety of birds including Robins with fledglings, Gray Catbirds, an immature Red-bellied Woodpecker and a Baltimore Oriole.  At the end of the boardwalk we spotted four Wood Ducklings down river and saw both an Osprey and a Merlin flying by overhead carrying food.

Over at the Hurd Grassland, we saw male and female American Kestrels hunting and bringing food to a a fledgling. Further along, a passing Sharp-shinned Hawk caused a cacophony of Red-winged Blackbird and other bird’s alarm calls as it flew by. While in the lower field we had three Great Blue Herons fly overhead, briefly swooping low to examine the pond, and later as we got to the northern end of the property, we saw five of them all perching in the top of a nearby stand of pine trees. Two Indigo Buntings were heard and seen from different parts of the property counter singing with each other. Our walk ended at Gale Hurd’s kitchen were we enjoyed snacks, good conversation and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird visiting her feeder.

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, Aug. 13 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.