Swelled by the presence of a goodly number of Middlebury College students, twenty people in all came out for the start of our walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland. Birds were unfortunately a bit hard to come by at the park this morning. Our best sightings along the trails included Red-bellied Woodpecker and Tufted Titmice. A flock of Red-winged Blackbirds didn’t have any interest in the marsh as they winged down the valley. At the end of the boardwalk there was a large flock of Canada Geese down river from us which kept increasing in size while we were there to 135.

Twelve participants continued on to the Hurd Grassland portion of our walk where the birds were much more lively. A Cooper’s Hawk was seen flying low across the field, disappearing into a hedge. We paused on our walk to check out the footbridge being built for us at the property by Boys Scout troop 536, and while in that area spotted three American Tree Sparrows, and three lingering Yellow-rumped Warblers. A Northern Flicker was heard calling from the hedges. In the shrubland section things were very busy with a mixed flock of White-crowned Sparrows, American Robins and Purple Finches making a meal of juniper berries. And much like the Red-winged Blackbirds we saw at the park, a flock of thirty Common Grackles did not pause for us on their trek south.

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, Dec. 11 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.