I visit DW Field Park a lot. There’s not usually much “excotic” wildlife there- swans, mallards, Canada Geese, some common birds like robins, grackles, starlings, or if I’m lucky, cormorants, grebes, assorted other ducks, or even hooded mergansers (my favorite). When I first drove around today, I hadn’t really seen anything interesting. The first stop I made was when I saw a group of cormorants- the largest group I’ve seen there actually- sunning on a log, with some ring-necked ducks swimming around them. Not a bad find for D.W.
When I came around to the far side, I saw some people feeding ducks and geese, and one of the swans was nearby so I figured I’d stop- I can never pass up the swans! Got a few new photos, I was liking the black & white today.
Then, I thought I saw some movement in the water over to my left- but I couldn’t tell what it was, it sort of looked like a log. I was about to dismiss it, when I saw another woman pointing at it and calling to her friend. I ran over, and sure enough, there was some sort of small mammal swimming through the water, mouth full of weeds! We weren’t sure what it was at first, thought maybe it was a beaver, but then it dove down, and the skinny tail gave it away as a muskrat!
It came right up to us on the rocks and deposited the weeds, building a nest, it seemed. It swam back out, followed by a second one, a mate, we assumed. We stood and watched them for a few minutes as they went back and forth, and eventually ventured further out. None of us had ever seen a muskrat there before, had no idea there even were any! (And I gave these ladies my business card, if you guys stop by leave me a comment!) Very cool, and not at all what I expected when I set out.
I stuck around a little longer, and I’m glad I did! As I was standing there (watching for muskrats) one of the swans touched down on the pond right in front of me. I’ve never even seen any of these swans fly before, let alone land right in front of me!
Since I got such a clear action sequence of the landing, I thought I’d try a composite. I saw this originally from Myer bornstein, who does workshops with the Allen’s Pond Audubon Sanctuary. I think it came out pretty good!
And a few more random shots before I left- no idea why this swan was floating around with his leg sticking out!
I was wondering where these ducks came from- 2 of them, swimming along with mallards. Maybe domestic ones that escaped?
And my favorite in-flight Canada Geese to date.