This month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on a morning with occasional spitting rain, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of our participants. One of the biggest features of Otter View Park in July is the large Mulberry tree that grows south of the boardwalk which is full of fruit at this time. Among the birds we saw coming to this tree were Eastern Kingbirds, Downy Woodpeckers, Norther Flickers, and American Robins. The Baltimore Oriole and Warbling Vireo nests that so prominently featured on our last walk were now empty, the chicks hopefully now fledged out. There was also a nice group of Wood Ducks seen on the river and flying over the marsh, several of them males in their mid-summer eclipse plumage.

At the Hurd Grassland we saw a Brown Thrasher on the fence at the start of the trail. Nearby we had a great look at an American Kestrel moving from perch to perch in the trees over the fields. Like last month, a Bobolink did a fly over of the fields, giving short bursts of jangly song. The most interesting sighting of the day was a Porcupine which was snoozing out in plain sight in the branches of a large oak tree. A Field Sparrow was seen and heard singing its bouncing ball song from the shrubland section of the property. At the end of our walk, while enjoying snacks with Gale Hurd, we enjoyed seeing a Hummingbird visit her feeders as well as the antics of a couple of recently fledged House Wrens. And to top it off, just as we were about to leave, we had a nice high-speed flyby from a Peregrine Falcon.

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, August 11 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