The May monthly wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland is frequently one of the most interesting walks of the year, and this year’s did not disappoint. One of the most interesting sightings of the day was a female Baltimore Oriole sees down on the ground picking out pieces of grass to use in building a nest. A very cooperative Common Yellowthroat perched up on a branch near to us and and sang its “witchity-witchity-witch” song. A Green Heron was seen catching fish from a log on the Otter Creek. And further down the river we saw a pair of Canada Geese with a family of at least five recently hatched goslings about their feet. From the marsh, we heard a Virgina Rail calling, a sound that has become common at the park during the breeding season. We were pleased to also hear the much less common sound of a calling Sora as well.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we got a great view of of a soaring American Kestrel over the fields. The only locally non-breeding migrant warbler we found this day was a Northern Parula which we heard singing but unfortunately never got to see. A pair of Field Sparrows was spotted making use of the now well established shrubland habitat in the lower field. Working our way back up the trails we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird on a branch which was replaced on its perch by a White-crowned Sparrow, which was in turn replaced on that spot by a Gray Catbird. Also near the start of the trail, we saw an Eastern Bluebird staking its claim to one of the nest boxes.

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

– Ron Payne