The story of this month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland is the story of all birding in our region in the past few months: A marked dearth or birds. Still we did manage some good sightings. Warm weather has kept the Otter Creek flowing so far this December, so flushing a Great Blue Heron away from the end of the boardwalk was no surprise. Nearby, an American Tree Sparrow brought out of a bush by “sphishing” remained in at the same perch for a full five minutes. A Red-bellied Woodpecker working on the branches of a tree across the river was another good bird.
One of the best sightings of our day came when we saw an adult Bald Eagle crossing Weybridge Rd. while we were carpooling from the park over to the Hurd Grassland. When we reached the Hurd property we had a nice, constantly calling and constantly moving flock of six Eastern Bluebirds. Also right by the start of the trail we heard a calling Northern Flicker. Small numbers of finches and juncos were hanging around Gale Hurd’s feeders, but other than that, there just wasn’t much bird activity at all. One of the reasons for this is the abundant food in the woods, and we saw evidence of this with some juniper bushes loaded with berries, but the birds weren’t using these particular bushes at that time.
All our bird sightings have been submitted to eBird and the full checklists can be viewed at the following links:
Other wildlife sightings are submitted to the Vermont Atlas of Life.
Our Next walk will take place Saturday, Jan. 13 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