This month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland began pleasently with the sound of a Carolina Wren singing near the parking lot. As we went down the trail we had a nice bit of drama as there was a three-way altercation between a Red-tailed Hawk, an immature Cooper’s Hawk and an American Crow. They circled together for several minutes acting belligerent towards each other without any physical contact. Gray Catbirds were heard calling in the area of the marsh, likely the last we will hear of them on our walks this year at the park this year since it is time for them to head south. Near the end of the boardwalk we noticed a group of Crows angrily calling in a stand of trees, but we couldn’t see what had them so riled up. After quite a while our second Cooper’s Hawk of the day, this one an adult, flew from those trees trailing pursuing Crows.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we spotted several Blue Jays flying about, one of them seen carrying an acorn in its bill. While walking around the field a second-year Bald Eagle slowly cruised by giving us a good look at it. A bit further along we also had a cooperative Swamp Sparrow that perched in a bush for everyone to see. Less helpful were several Yellow-rumped Warblers seen and heard flying overheard but never posing for us. Headed back through a hedge-lined trail, we spished out a mixed flock of Sparrows including at least ten White-throated and three White-crowned Sparrows. Our last good sighting of the day was a juvenile Cardinal still being fed by it’s father.

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, Nov. 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