Natural surprises while birding

Three doe, which I see most outings in our woods, eased off into the brush this afternoon, as the dog and I began another birding trip around our loop.  They flicked their tails a bit but we passed them quickly and let them be.  But it did get me thinking about non-bird stuff we see every day while birding.

This morning while birding at the local reservoir, I found a beaver “slide”cut down an embankment where the animals slide the smaller trees they have felled.  The beavers were elsewhere but had been getting ready for winter.

It brought to mind a delightful experience last week at Berlin Pond where I noted some movement far across the water.  I got my scope set up and saw a couple of “sea serpents” cavorting through the shallows.  I kept looking, not believing the length of them and the long pointed tails that entered the water last as they undulated, seemingly chasing one another.  I was wishing for one of my naturalist friends to come by and help me figure it out — it was my first good look at River Otters in action.  Of course, when I went to the truck for the camera, they moved into the reeds — but it was a neat moment.

We have had a young buck on our property this year — I saw him earlier when his antlers were in velvet.  Penny and I jumped him again the other day and he loped a quarter mile to the hillside across from us and posed.  Here is the very long distant shot I took:


Perhaps the most interesting observation this year was two weeks ago, early in the morning as it was just getting light, as Penny and I just started out from the house.  I saw some movement, black fur, and thought, “Great, a bear cub.”  I got my binoculars on it to see a Fisher Cat watching me.  I wasn’t sure of the identification until it turned to move away and I saw the long black tail.  Fortunately, the dog was engaged elsewhere and never saw it.  It was the first one I’ve ever seen and quite a start to that walk.

So, the things we’ve seen before in our woods but not yet this year include porcupines, a coy dog, raccoons, several black bears, and a big bull moose.   Given the fact that the Vizsla is always roaming with me, I’m fine with not seeing them again.



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