This month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a classic early June morning featuring near perfect weather. Eight people in total came together to help survey birds and other wildlife at the two properties, and had a very enjoyable morning. 

At Otter View Park most of the action took place down on the boardwalk. The big news of this summer is that we have at least two pairs of nesting Marsh Wrens, making a lot of racket rattling around their nest sites in the cattails. Also quite active were Green Herons, two of which were seen hunting from logs down the river and flying over the marsh. Also spied on the river was a small family of Hooded Mergansers, a mother with at least three ducklings. Another nice treat was seeing a River Otter pop its head out of the water very near the end of the boardwalk. And a male Baltimore Oriole provided a nice look at its blaze orange belly as it flew past overhead.

Over at the Hurd Grassland, we were very happy to see Tree Swallows making use of some of the 11 new bird houses recently installed on the property. Barn Swallows were also seen zooming back and forth over the grass. In pleasing news for our management of the fields, we saw three Bobolinks doing display flights, the timing of their appearance suggesting they are refugees from other cut fields in the area. In the shrubland we had both Field Sparrows and Brown Thrashers present, both focus species for that section, as well as Chestnut-sided Warblers, another good shrubland species. We also had nice looks at several butterfly species, including Black Swallowtails and Eastern Wood Nymphs.

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, Jul. 10 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road. We hope to see you there.