June is the peak time of bird breeding activity so most of our highlights from this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland revolve around that theme. One of the best sightings of the day was the Warbling Vireo nest at the park we had previously posted about. Nearly two weeks later, and the chicks were big enough to be seen poking their heads out of the nest while the parents were feeding them. Another fun nest to watch was a Baltimore Oriole nest near the end of the boardwalk at which both the male and female were seen bringing food, and the female spent an extended ten minutes down inside with her babies. Also fun to see were a family of Wood Ducks swimming on the Otter Creek.

Over at the Hurd Grassland, Tree Swallows were tending nearly ready to fledge chicks in bird houses. Eastern Bluebirds and House Wrens were also making good use of nest boxes at the property. Out in the grassy are, we didn’t see signs of nesting grassland birds, but we did see one male Bobolink cruising over the area giving its jangly song. An Eastern Phoebe was seen catching food for, and feeding a recently fledged Brown-headed Cowbird. But our biggest news from the day was that in the shrubland section of the property, we found a Golden-winged Warbler singing, but only giving us the briefest looks at it. Along with Alder Flycatchers and Field Sparrows, this is proof that our property management is working as planned.

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, July 14 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