Eight of us showed up before 7AM to look for birds at Woodside Natural Area in Essex Junction – and we were well rewarded. The mile-long loop took us over three hours because of the astonishing abundance of birds: 43 species in all! Highlights included great looks at:

  • Spotted Sandpipers along the Winooski
  • Many Gray Catbirds so involved in their own interpersonal affairs that they completely ignored us
  • Four fluffy yellow goslings following their parents off a beaver lodge into the water
  • A pair of Hairy Woodpeckers feeding their noisy begging young
  • Brilliant Yellow Warblers
  • A gorgeous Chestnut–sided Warbler kindly staying put in a tree right beside the trail.

We also saw many turtles, including at least one that appeared to be a Spiny Softshelled Turtle. Along with wildlife, a big highlight was the energy and enthusiasm of the group – lots of laughter and great conversation! There are many more photos here.

Participants were Fernando Corrada, Corky Magoon, Betty Navin, Josette Noll, Bernie Paquette, Dorene Quesnel, and Julie Soquet. The leader was Maeve Kim.