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April 18, 2008

I did a double-take when I saw this blond duck back on the creek again this morning. She looks an awful lot like the one in the photo I took last year on the creek, the infamous "Mallard telling a joke" picture:

It's cool to think it could be the same couple come back to our little bend in the creek year after year, to celebrate their anniversary or stay a few days in the Cattail Motel, on their way "Up North."

The Savannah Sparrow staked out in a tangle of woody shrubbery.

And another little buddy we haven't seen for quite some time (I haven't anyway, tho he was probably still there) : the mink. I'm sure this musky fellow is anxiously awaiting some nests with nice tasty eggs in them.


Anonymous said...

That Mink is a Muskrat!

buthidae said...

I'm not too concerned about the ID of the critter. But what is the name of those water swirls? Way cool.

dignature said...

I think some of the swirls are enhanced by the reflections of all the birch branches, cattails and dogwood. Not sure if those particular swirlies have a name (maybe there's a Native American name for swimming animal swirlies) but the ones that form behind the canoe when you're paddling a J-stroke are known as "eddys", as are the vortexes that develop downstream of protruding rocks in fast flowing water.
I always wondered if that had something to do with "Flo & Eddie."

BTW, I'm still not convinced that was a muskrat... I saw it's tail pretty clearly a second later when it dove, and it appeared furry, thick, and dark. True, muskrats aren't really known for spending a lot of time out during the daylight, but they aren't fans of a strong current either.
I also haven't seen what I consider a muskrat lodge on our creek yet, but they are opportunistic and may be shacking up in a borrowed burrow or den. I need more hard data here!
Blast it, Jim! - I'm a naturalist, not a statistician!