This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place the morning after a fresh coating of snow. This meant a couple of things; that participants showed up late and had to chase down the leader, and that it was very easy to spot fresh animal tracks. We noted Northern Cardinals singing from their well spaced territories, had close encounters with Black-capped Chickadees and spotted an American Tree Sparrow in some bushes. Down underneath the boardwalk we spotted a trail from either a Long-tailed or Short-tailed Weasel, and nearby that, a larger partly snowed over trail that probably belonged to a Mink.

At the Hurd Grassland, birds were hard to come by at the start, but we did have some good observations. Two Red-bellied Woodpeckers were heard calling from two different parts of the property. A trio of Red-tailed Hawks were seen soaring together in the North part of the property under the watchful eyes of a group of Crows. Large groups of Mourning Doves were huddled together in trees and bushes, and a large group of American Robins was seen traversing the property. The best part of our walk was the tracking, however. We saw a beautifully distinct set of Gray Fox tracks, an set of Coyote tracks that had crossed a field, and tracks of a Bobcat that was mostly following in the trail of a wandering Striped Skunk. On our way back to the parking we also flushed two Cottontail Rabbits showing all those predators have good reason to hang out at the property.

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, Mar. 11 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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