Friday, April 10, 2015


No one expects me today.  The sky is clouded over thick and a wet drenching drizzle cuts the vision to 800 yards.  The ducks go unidentified unless they call, but the swans, osprey and flying great blue heron are known without any tricks, although a standing heron would likely be missed, a perched osprey might go unnoticed...only a blind man would miss the swans.  But the marsh at Selden Creek is alive and active.  Songbird calls emanate from both sides.  I can ID the redwing blackbird, the tapping of woodpeckers, but many of the others are foreign languages to me.

A slap of a large fish off behind me as I turn at the first bend past the pond.  I wish I'd seen that.  It was big.

By the first cliff, another slap of a good sized fish.

Near the bottom of the creek, the osprey have all taken their nests.  There's one next box with three or four natural nests built in the dead snags of the drowned swamp.  A loon calls from out in the main river and I can just barely make it out...a lone bird where there are few lone birds anymore.  It will migrate north to a lake, once the ice on those lakes goes out.

I turn back just in time to catch a pair of muskrats swimming across the channel.

Beaver - the wind-up for a tail slap
At the first cliff, the fish jumps again...which is not right.  I watch and spot a line of bubbles...air squeezed out of the fur of a submerged beaver.  There are two, and a stick pile that appears to be a shoddy bank burrow.  Both beaver are small and are probably two year-olds that have been forced out of their parents home and are now colonizing unclaimed territory.  It's what beaver do.  That first fish slap back at the first bend was no doubt, a beaver as well.  I watch for fifteen minutes and then continue.

Another muskrat crosses the channel.

Back at the first pond, one of the swans, the male, takes off straight at me... straight like charging bull.  This is not good...swans take off away from people.  It is rather impressive to say the least.  They're big birds, but you wouldn't imagine a swan could look that big.  It touches down fifty yards away but holds its wings up over its back so that it looks twice as large.  It swims toward me until I change course, then it too changes course.  Detente.  I blinked.

The drizzle eased up a half hour ago.  Now the fog rolls in, almost as thick as it can be.  I have to cross the river and the far shore is just a faint shadow at best.  Like I said, no one expects me...I keep the ears perked for motors and make quick work of the crossing.

The count - 2 beaver, 6 muskrats, half a dozen osprey, great blue heron, 2 swans, four common mergansers and a bunch of unidentified ducks.  They weren't expecting me. 

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