Fifteen people came out for this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland taking advantage of the good weather to do some peak spring birding. Our walk began with a good look at a Baltimore Oriole from the parking lot. Further down we were serenaded by the beautiful fluting song of a Wood Thrush, and later got a look at the bird singing from his perch. Virgina Rails have been very active in the park recently and though we didn’t see one, we did hear it giving it’s ‘grunting’ call. The park’s resident breeding warblers are back with several Yellow Warblers and a Common Yellowthroat singing on their territories. Added to them was an Ovenbird singing from the woods across the river from the boardwalk. A bit of an oddities for the park was a Field Sparrow which was doing it’s best impression of a Chipping Sparrow by browsing at the edge of a driveway.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we had a bit of drama upon our arrival when a Merlin made an unsuccessful attempt to catch a Tree Swallow which had been sitting on top of a nest box. Nearby, a male Eastern Bluebird seemed to have his own nest box staked out. Down in the grassland we were happy to see two Eastern Meadowlarks, at first just popping their heads up out of the grass, but later a male got up on top of a tree and sang where we could scope it. A Black-and-white Warbler teased us for a while in some woods before coming out where we could see it on a dead elm tree. As we worked our way back we also got a good look at two Brown Thrashers, one down on the grass, the other singing up high in a maple. And as we ended our day over snacks in Gale Hurd’s kitchen, we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird visiting a feeder, and a White-crowned Sparrow hopping out on Gale’s deck.

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 16 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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