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Seven people came out decked out in rain-wear for This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a morning with threatening weather that never arrived. Something that nobody complained about.

At Otter View Park, skittish juvenile Song Sparrows and a noisy passing Northern Flicker kept us entertained as we started out. And a small skein of ten Canada Goose set a bit of an autumnal tone. Further along, we admired the continued expansion of beaver dam terraces under the boardwalk. A Marsh Wren teased us with its call from the cattails letting us have only brief looks at it. A Warbling Vireo was doing some half-hearted singing, and a couple of Common Yellowthroats popped up where we could see them. The best sighting of this part of the walk was a flyby by an adult Bald Eagle, and on the other end of the size scale, a Wilson’s Warbler popped out of a bush so shortly that only those quick with their binoculars could see it.

Over at the Hurd Grassland the bird activity was dampered a bit by the wind. We did ‘spish’ a Swamp Sparrow out of some reeds in the lower field. A pair of Ravens were seen a couple of times gliding about and talking to each other. A flight of three Wood Ducks were seen zooming by overhead. A spry leap by one of our participants led to the capture of a Spring Peeper Frog which afterword seemed content to be photographed while sitting on another participant’s jacket. And on the trail back up to the starting point, we spotted some Yellow-bellied Sapsucker wells on a maple tree.

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, October at 8:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

Eight people came out for this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on what could be only described as a perfect August day. Sunny and cool and lacking the high humidity we had been having recently, it mad for a pleasant outing.

Song Sparrow were the early greeters along as we started off at the park, and would be a theme throughout the morning. Along the boardwalk we noticed some new beaver work, extending their dam further and retaining a lot of the three inches of rain we had in the previous days. A pair of Marsh Wrens kept teasing us with their scolding while hidden in the cattails, finally revealing themselves to some persistent watcher. Down at the river we watched three Green Herons fly up and land at the tops of trees. On our way back we spotted an Empidonax flycatcher that sat long enough in one place for us to definitively identify it as a Least Flycatcher.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we watched Barn Swallows zooming back and forth over the newly mowed field. Song Sparrows again were conspicuous dotted around the trails alone and in family groups with youngsters — we tallied 22 of them in all. A Common Yellowthroat and Swamp Sparrow briefly popped up where they could be viewed, but were otherwise only heard. An Eastern Towhee was observed in the shrubland section of the property singing its “drink your tea” song. Field Sparrows weren’t singing, but one of them did pop up to give us great looks at it. An Osprey was seen flying overhead as were several Turkey Vultures. We ended our morning in Gale Hurd’s kitchen enjoying a snack and some Ruby-throated Humming birds visiting her feeders.

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, September 14 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

This month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a seasonally warm morning. Our crew this time out were all walk regulars which made for a companionable outing.

At the park, a Catbird was keeping up a constant racket while we gathered in the parking lot. Along the trail we spotted an Eastern Cottontail Rabbit that quickly dived for cover when it saw us. At the end of the boardwalk we saw thee families of Wood Ducks that we tallied at twenty in total of both adults and ducklings. A female Mallard was doing its best impression of a piece of wood, sleeping standing in front of a log, only her slight movements and orange legs giving her away. A Baltimore Oriole perched in a tree and a Green Heron flying over the river were also nice sightings.

The big feature at the Hurd Grassland was Dragonflies. Along the paths we saw several Widow Skimmer, a Common Whitetail and many unidentified Meadowhawks. A Monarch Butterfly was also seen visiting the milkweed in the field. Down in the shrubby section we had two Field Sparrows countersigning with each other. A Brown Thrasher flew across the trail in front of a pair of participants who had fallen behind and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was seen visiting Gale Hurd’s flower garden.

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, August 10 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

Seventeen people came out for our Monthly Wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on a gorgeous June morning to view and help us survey birds and other wildlife at these two properties.

At Otter View Park, Eastern Kingbirds acted as our greeters and we started our walk, flitting between apple trees. Down on the boardwalk, a sharp-eyed participant spotted a Ruby-throated Hummingbird perched at the very top of a tree. Marsh Wrens, Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows provided a constant soundtrack for us in the Marsh. A Virginia Rail was heard several times but not seen, even when it was right next to the boardwalk. A lone male Wood Duck was seen down the river as was a female Hooded Merganser which we saw fly up into some trees. A Mallard mom with 14 ducklings made a brief appearance on the riverbank too. At one point we saw a Baltimore Oriole perched in a very distant tree. Later we thought we had found it again, but that turned out we were tricked by a Red-winged Blackbird with a red covered leaf in front of its body.

After a quick carpool, we started our walk at the Hurd Grassland where we saw an Eastern Bluebird atop a birdhouse and heard several House Wrens singing their heads off. In the field we spotted a Merlin circling up in the sky. Unfortunately we didn’t see any grassland birds in the Hurd fields, but we did later spot a Bobolink at the property to the north giving hope that they are at least using our habitat for feeding. The shrubland section of the property was much better for the species we are targeting with our management. Alder Flycatchers, an Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrows and an Eastern Towhee are all evidence that things are going well there. But the highlight was a male Blue-winged Warbler heard singing its “bee-buzz” song, then later seen by our group foraging around the top of an elm tree.

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, July 13 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

Twelve people came out for this month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on a beautiful morning, with lots of beautiful birds to be seen. As we walked the trail one of the neighborhood Merlins zoomed overhead spooking all the Red-winged Blackbirds. Down on the boardwalk we watched a Marsh Wren carrying cattail fluff down into a nest it was constructing. Two Virgina Rails were briefly seen, the hear making their grunting call from the marsh. And a trio of Baltimore Orioles flew in and chased each other across the property.

Over at the Hurd Grassland we were treated to the sight of both Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows taking up residence in bird houses. A Norther Mockingbird was a surprise site flying along a hedgerow. In the field an Eastern Meadowlark briefly popped up out of the grass and disappeared again, giving us hope they might nest there again this year. Down near the pond we enjoyed long looks at an American Bittern that was trying unsuccessfully to make us think it was a tree stump. A Field Sparrow was spotted in the shrubland section of the property. And at the end of our walk, while enjoying snacks and conversation with Gale Hurd, we saw a Ruby-throated Hummingbird visiting her feeder, the first of the year for many on our walk.

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, June 8 at 7:00 AM. Meet at the parking area of Otter View Park at the intersection of Weybridge St. and Pulp Mill Bridge Road.

Barn Swallows

Six people came out to this month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on what was one of the most beautiful days of the spring s far. On the songbird side of things, a recent arrival at the park was the Eastern Phoebe, and an Easter Bluebird was also seen hanging around. Read the rest of this entry »

 

This month’s walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland couldn’t have happened on a nicer March morning—sunny and seasonably warm and thoroughly enjoyable. And the birds seemed to be out enjoying the weather too. At the park, Northern Cardinals were belting out their territorial songs and Starlings were already investigating holes in trees. Read the rest of this entry »

 

This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a cold and windy morning. A participant who took part in last month’s walk when it was -7 F at the start, claimed this morning in the teens felt colder due to the wind. Of course when it’s windy, the birds become hard to find. The persistent calling of a Tufted Read the rest of this entry »

 

This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland was led by OCAS board member, Craig Zondag, on a very cold morning. Temperatures started below zero, but with a shining sun and no wind, it was surprisingly comfortable. The park didn’t serve up a large list of birds, but there were some good ones to be seen. Five Eastern Read the rest of this entry »

 

This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland took place on a frosty morning when the starting time temperature was a mere 9°F. It was however a sunny and windless morning so the four people who came out did not suffer too badly from the cold. Read the rest of this entry »

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