32 people came out on an unseasonably warm for the return of our First Day Hike at Button Bay State Park. Put on in partnership with Vermont State Parks, we aim to start the year right with both a good walk and a good start to our birding year lists.

The birds were in fairly low numbers, as is the current trend for them this winter, but we did manage to get some good sighting. Along the trails we found a flock of songbirds including a White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Juncos, and Blue Jays, which were spotted and ID’d by a seven-year-old participant in the walk. One of our group was lucky enough to see a Brown Creeper, but it crept away before anyone else got to see it. Out on the water around Ship point there was a moderate sized flock of American Black Ducks and Mallards, as well as some very distant Hooded Mergansers. We went out to the point across from Button Island and got better looks at those Mergansers, and got a great look at a Horned Grebe which surfaced seemingly from nowhere right in front of us. On our way back we found some more songbirds along the road, including some American Tree Sparrows. And to crown things off, while looking at a large flock of European Starlings, we were excited to see a Peregrine Falcon fly through them in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a meal.

It was great to return to doing this event, and we fully plan to do it again next year.

Click here for a full list of the birds we saw.