On Saturday, June 17, OCAS and the Middlebury Area Land Trust held our annual beginning birder’s walk at Wright Park in Middlebury. Beginning birder’s of all ages, many equipped with OCAS’s binoculars, broke into three groups led by OCAS President Ron Payne, board member Craig Zondag and former MALT Executive Director Josh Phillips and searched for birds around the various trails of the Park. Birding highlights were a Merlin zooming over the parking lot as we get started, an up-close look at some Veerys, and two groups seeing a usually elusive Black-billed Cuckoo. Read the rest of this entry »

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This month’s wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland on a lovely early summer day and featured many fun early summer sightings. At the top of the Otter View Park boardwalk, a first-year American Redstart might have confused viewers by looking like a female and singing like a male. Green Herons were seen moving about the park, Read the rest of this entry »

The May monthly wildlife walk at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland is frequently one of the most interesting walks of the year, and this year’s did not disappoint. One of the most interesting sightings of the day was a female Baltimore Oriole sees down on the ground picking out pieces of grass to use in building a nest. A very cooperative Common Read the rest of this entry »

This year’s Warbler Warm-up walk at The Waterworks Property in New Haven, took place a week earlier than our traditional Mother’s Day date. And though we were earlier, and the weather was a bit wet and dreary, we did manage a very respectable list of  42 species of birds. Warblers were in short supply with only 7 species on hand including Read the rest of this entry »

Once again this May teams of OCAS birding volunteers will spend a 24-hour period scouring Addison County to find as many species as we can for our annual Birdathon fundraiser. All the money raised will go to support our educational and outreach programs. For example, this year, we have committed to give $5220 to Addison County schools to fund field trips and class projects. We are also assisting with sending two local teachers, and two local High School students to the National Audubon Society’s Hog Island camp in Maine. Money from Birdathon also goes to support our Cabin Fever Lecture Series, Otter Tracks Newsletter and many other programs, none of which would be possible without your financial support. You can help us out by either pledging an amount for each species found, giving us a flat gift, or by creating your own Birdathon team.

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When I first set up the OCAS trail camera at this location at the Hurd Grassland in Weybridge back in October, I did so specifically because I believed we might catch Turkeys on video there. Six months of disappointment followed (well, only if you consider a bobcat disappointing). But finally, after a long wait. my instincts paid off. I hope you enjoy these clips of Turkeys that were captured of a span of five days.

– Ron Payne

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In this issue of Otter Tracks you will find the following articles:

  • The Status of Vermont Forest Birds
  • Getting the Lead Out: Progress Reversed!
  • In Memorium: Chandler S. Robbins
  • Cat Wars: a review
  • Wright Park Birding
  • The Great Amphibian Migration
  • Picking a Winner
  • Happy Campers
  • Taking Camouflage to a New Level
  • Environmental Education Grant Recipients

Otter Creek Audubon Society members will receive a copy in the mail but you can always find the latest issues of Otter Tracks in color on our home page. You can also browse issues going back to the year 2000 in our Otter Tracks Archive.

– Ron Payne

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Reports of amphibian migration are pouring in from across the state, including those parts of the state that had been taking a long time to thaw out.  When Warren King, Barry King, and I arrived at Morgan Road in Salisbury at 8 PM to get set up for a public crossing event last night, the roads were barely damp, and we feared we had just invited Read the rest of this entry »

On Saturday, April 8, OCAS hosted the bi-annual Audubon Assembly, this time taking place at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison. These meetings are a regular opportunity for board members of Audubon Chapters around the state to get together with representatives of Audubon Vermont and talk about our programs and, local, state and Federal issues, and the challenges we all face. Read the rest of this entry »

Seasonably pleasant weather was a feature of this month’s wildlife walks at Otter View Park and the Hurd Grassland, a far cry from the sub-freezing conditions of our March walk. Newly arrived migrants were another good feature too. At the park, an Eastern Phoebe seen flitting from branch to branch, flicking its tail was a first of year bird for Read the rest of this entry »

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