This month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland featured our regular autumnal switch from a 7am to an 8am start time so that we have enough daylight to bird it. Fortunately most of us knew about that change, but those who didn’t had a bit of a wait.

At the park we started off with Song Sparrows and White-throated Sparrows in the bushes along the trail. Carolina Wrens were singing their heads off from two different directions. Fifty-seven Canada Geese were seen while we were there, including a group we watched land on the river from the end of the boardwalk. Along the edges of the marsh we good enough a look at a non-breeding plumaged Blackpoll Warbler to see its yellow feet. And while looking at that bird, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet popped up too. At one point we had a Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker and a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker together in the same Ash tree, allowing us to compare and contrast their field marks. We also saw what was likely one of the last Gray Catbirds at the park this year.

The Hurd Grassland gave us a nice welcome with a pair of Eastern Bluebirds near the entrance. Down in the middle of the field we spotted a Great Blue Heron hunting in the grass for more terrestrial prey than usual. We lucked into spotting a very pregnant Praying Mantis well camouflaged against its background. A Monarch Butterfly was seen too, and we debated its chances of making it to Mexico at such a late date. The most notable thing during our walk here were the Yellow-rumped Warblers scattered all around the property, or which were tallied sixteen. An Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwings and a noisy Pileated Woodpecker were also good sightings.

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.