This month’s Wildlife Walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on one of the first real cool mornings of the fall, driving our participants to show up in jackets for the first time since spring. We did still catch some good migrant activity, as you would expect for this time of year.

At Otter View Park flocks of American Goldfinches were still bopping around the property making a lot of noise while visiting seeded out thistles. A Northern Flicker was heard making it’s loud “keew” call as it flew around the area. Down in the marsh, a Swamp Sparrow was heard still singing, as was a Warbling Vireo up in nearby trees. Red-eyed Vireos were well visible as they fattened themselves up eating dogwood berries, joined in this activity by a Gray Catbird. A Belted Kingfisher was heard rattling down by the river, and seen flying overhead. The best sighting of the day came when we were coming back out on the boardwalk and spotted a Magnolia Warbler in the trees, and were allowed good enough looks at it to identify it as an immature male. 

Over at the Hurd Grassland birds were a little less active, but we still found some nice things. A flock of Cedar Waxwings, now getting together in groups like this after breeding, was a good find. A Common Raven announced its presence with its croaking call. Also nice to see was a female Ruby-throated Hummingbird in the midst of molting its flight feathers which posed long enough to have its picture taken. The most exciting thing found on the property this day was not wildlife, but instead a new stone bench added to the field at a junction in the trails overlooking the prime grassland bird breeding habitat. This bench was donated to OCAS by Nate Dansereau, who has been an OCAS friend for a while in his role as a Rutland County Audubon Society board member, and as a participant of these walks. We thank Nate for his contribution to the property and hope people will enjoy having a nice place to sit well into the future. 

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, Oct. 9 at 8:00 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.