Thursday, February 27, 2014

On the way to work

                                                   2 Snowy's on the way to work today.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Predator tracking with Walnut Hill

So yet another wonderful tracking course with Nick and Valerie out in the beautiful Quabbin water shed. The focus was apex predators and their cohabitants, my personal target species were; Eastern Coyote, Fisher, and Bobcat. We of course saw a lot more tracks of the other animals in this ecosystem , but in particular we found some great Coyote tracks, as well as Bobcat. We explored the signs of this mixed deciduous and coniferous forest habitat, and shared a few moments with some of its unseen residents. Normally I write a lot more, but I've been writing so much for work, that a picture recap of some of the day will have to do this time around. As always it was a amazing time with Nick & Valerie, I encourage all who have a love of the natural world around them to share a special moment with them. I find my ethos and how I share and experience the world around me fits hand in hand with the views and teachings of Nick and Valerie, as such  I look forward to these trips and spending time with them each year.

                                                         Shores of the Quabbin
                                       Active signs of Beaver in the swamp areas on our trek
                      Nick and Valerie collecting some data.  Measuring Bobcat tracks, sizing the animal and interpreting its behavior.
                                        Beautiful brook with Bobcat tracks in the middle
                                                                Bobcat tracks
                                          Nice rocky overlook, possible hangout for Bobcats.
                                                     Moose sign - moose scrape
                                                        Nick leading the masses
                                              Pileated Woodpecker excavations
                                         Master Riley out on the frozen Quabbin Shore
                                                       Prestine brook

                 Upon arriving home my resident Snowy met me on the beach the next morning.

                                         Eating a large vole above, and below "house sitting"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Eagle Festival & others

This weekend I was asked to man one of the sites for the Mass Audubon Eagle Festival. I got stationed at the Deer Island, a very exciting spot if viewing Eagles. A big thanks to the crew at Joppa for including me, they are a great group of folks over there. The other co-leader Jean & I rocked Deer Island with tremendous bird cheer,  our only regret being forgetting a hibachi grill and possibly... foot warmers. Also, upon arrival I immediately slipped and fell on the ice, inadvertently outlining the non-safe standing zones for  the Eagle onlookers. 

On to the birds though...while I was on the Island we had 1 mature adult, and more than 8 + sub adults at varied ages. Not great shots but good for documentation. 

Prior to my shift at Deer Island I birded a number of places turning up some good birds, of note; Snow Buntings, and a Screech Owl. The screech has been absent from his roost all winter and I was starting to fear the worst. As such, I was quite happy to see this little guy alive and well enjoying the sun. Also a few Snowys ...which is basically an every day occurrence here.