This month’s wildlife walk featured a checklist of early signs of spring. Right of from the parking lot at Otter View Park we had territorial Red-winged Blackbirds singing from prominent perches, House Finches singing their pretty warble, and Song Sparrows calling from a tiny cattail-filled drainage. Throughout our entire morning walk we saw dozens of skeins of Canadian Geese flying overhead. Down on the boardwalk, we found that the ice was out on the creek and we had Geese on the river too, as well as a pair of Wood Ducks and a Common Merganser that flew past us going upriver. Another possibly premature sign of spring seen on our way out of the park was a pair of House Sparrows bringing nesting material into some equipment on a telephone pole.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we had another good early migraring bird sighting with some Common Grackles. Down in the fields we also spotted a Male Eastern Bluebird repeatedly flying from a low perch to the snow, probably trying to catch some early emerging insects. In the hedgerows along the trail we found a huge flock of Dark-eyed Juncos with at least one White-throated Sparrow singing it’s spring song in there with them. An absolutely massive flock of American Goldfinches was present too, with a lot of them beginning to show some bright yellow plumage.

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, Apr. 12 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

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