Blessed with lovely weather, nine people set out for April’s wildlife walk at Otter View park and the Hurd Grassland to survey birds and other wildlife at these two properties. Being early in migration season, we were hoping to see some new birds arrivals at both places and we weren’t entirely disappointed.

At the park we started off with some lingering winter species with a group of Dark-eye Juncos near the parking lot. Red-winged Blackbirds and Song Sparrows were busy singing away working out the boundaries of their territories. Eastern Phoebes and Carolina Wrens were similarly vocal. Down at the end of the boardwalk we spotted a Great Blue Heron looking quite a bit warmer than one did the previous month. Some Canada Goose were seen paring up on the creek while others were seen dropping in for a rest on their way North. One of the most interesting things during our walk was hearing American Tree Sparrows doing their full breeding song, something there is just a brief window to hear before they head to their breeding grounds further north.

A quick carpool took us over to the Hurd Grassland where we immediately saw newly arrived Tree Swallows staking claims to the birdhouses on the property. Also making use of one of the boxes was a pair of Bluebirds, which this author discovered later in the day while cleaning birdhouses, were already sitting on eggs. As we walked the perimeter of the field, we had a great view of a Norther Harrier hunting low over the grasses. A Red-tailed Hawk was twice sighted kiting—parked seemingly motionless in a headwind—very high up in the sky. Also of interest were a group of four handsome, if vilified Brown-headed Cowbirds visiting a feeder.

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, May. 13, at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Rd. We hope to see you there.