Thursday, August 30, 2012

Muscatatuck Wild America

Wild America
August can be one of the most difficult months to find wildlife during the day, and afternoon is typically not a good time to find animals.  However, I recently found quite a bit of wildlife at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge in the middle of the afternoon. 

The dry weather had reduced many of the wetlands to small pools, which always seems to have a concentrating effect on watchable wildlife--especially those that feed on the fish and crayfish that are forced into smaller areas of water. On this day I was surprised to find river otters active in the heat of the afternoon. The scene was like something out of a "Wild America" montage.

Three otters coated in muck and duckweed rolled in a pool searching for fish, while a great blue heron grabbed fish spooked by the otter's activity.  Half a dozen green herons surrounded the pool--looking nervously and tensing for flight when approached too closely by the otters. 

As the muck-slicked otters bounded out of the pool their size difference became more apparent (most likely a mother and two youngsters). Maybe that was the reason for the afternoon fishing trip--hungry teenagers.

Parasitic Fisherman
Great blue heron benefiting from fish spooked by the otters.

  river otters
Mother otter and one of her juveniles.

Green Heron
Green heron in a pose that often leads to its misidentification as an American bittern.

Great Egret Hunting
Great egret stalking the shallows.

The End
The End(s)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wood Stork at Anchorage Trail

A juvenile Wood Stork was seen at the Anchorage Trail by Jane and Pat Bell on Tuesday and they were kind enough to share the photo below.  These birds are not usual visitors to our area and are most closely associated with the Gulf area.  The bird did not stick around long so congrats to Jane and Pat for a great find.

The photo below is from the USFWS and gives a little better look at a Wood Stork. 

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