South Burlington- Home (for now)

By josh • 251 Birds, Nature, Wildlife • 25 Mar 2012

South Burlington (Chittenden County)
Muddy Brook Nature Preserve
Town #23

We’ve been living in South Burlington for two months now.  We’re renting a condo from some friends while we look for a new place to call home.  New Home may or may not be here in South Burlington (good schools! short commute to Burlington!) but it will certainly be close by.

Somewhat to my surprise, there’s some pretty good birding here in town.  Red Rocks Park has some rare lakeside habitats and nice views of the mouth of Shelburne Bay, and I’ve heard it’s quite a migrant trap in the spring.  There’s also Dorset Park/Wheeler Nature Park, which has produced clay colored sparrow and other local rarities in the past and has a nice mix of white pine forest, wet meadow, edge, and deciduous forest.

Black-capped chickadee

Black-capped chickadee, Canon 400mm f/5.6L, 1/400sec, ISO 400

My first new eBird checklist in South Burlington was at Muddy Brook Wetland Preserve, a newish park that was conserved and developed as mitigation for the expansion of the Burlington International Airport.  The access for the preserve is along Van Sicklen Road just west of the brook crossing.  Muddy Brook is among Vermont’s most impaired waterways, collecting nutrients and pollutants as it courses from its source at Shelburne Pond through the intense development of South Burlington and Williston.  Muddy Brook Wetland Preserve is upstream of most of that development though, and here the brook is marshy and quiet.

There is excellent habitat here for migrants and edge species.  Asher and I visited the day after we sold our house in Monkton in late January.  There wasn’t much activity that day besides the midwinter flocking of robins:

  • American crow (7)
  • American goldfinch (1)
  • Black-capped chickadee (6)
  • Blue jay (7)
  • American robin (41)
  • Tufted titmouse (2)

I’m looking forward to getting back to Muddy Brook regularly as spring arrives- there’s a great marsh with some open water, a some nice meadow, lots of edge, and the brook itself.  This post is short on photos, but I’ll be back for more soon.

Muddy Brook Nature Preserve

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *