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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Trustom Pond part two

As we drove into the parking lot we passed a solitary and injured Canada Goose wandering recklessly about the road. Its neck was covered with blood. Sadly though we could do nothing for it, there was no ranger posted at the ranger hut.

The flourishing bird feeders were, as always, coated with a thick layer of birds: White-Breasted Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers patrolled the suet feeders; Chickadees, Titmice and Goldfinches kept the seed feeders active, while below them Towhees, Mourning Doves and Cardinals kept the ground free from seeds which fell constantly from the feeders above. A Chipmunk darted out after a seed and then hurried away with its prize.

We have seen deer tracks and occasionally a deer here but never a shocking six (unfortunately I only saw five). The first two we discovered were feeding in a grassy section only feet from the foot path. They were incredibly tame and stayed for at least seven minutes. The handsome buck was much tamer than the timid doe who quickly moved away from us (maybe she smelled Ben?). The male had a small pair of beautiful nubs which protruded elegantly from his furry head. The next one we chanced upon was a gentle fawn crossing the path - he/she glanced at us momentarily and then moved hastily into the woods. Its spotted behind was the last thing we saw before the lovely deer vanished from sight. The next deer was the one I missed because I went ahead but it was a doe as far as I have heard. Then we found a deer which was surprisingly small (maybe it had just lost its spots). Then we scared another one out of hiding. It went to join its comrade. It too was very small.

So ends the tale of the White-Tailed Deer!

Next we met up with a foraging flock of birds hungrily devouring Concord Grapes. Though most flew off we were able to pick out three Black and White Warblers and a Blue-Headed Vireo. Further down the path we crossed paths with a Common Yellowthroat, a Downy Woodpecker and some Catbirds. On the trail to the pond we found a White-Breasted Nuthatch and a Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, a tiny little blue and gray bird (as its name suggests) with a white eye ring and a long black and white tail. The pond was fairly unsuccessful - a few Canada Geese, a Great Egret, an Osprey and some turtles were all that we could see from our perspective. Unfortunately the Blue-Winged Teal which was reported here on the local bird alert (RIbirds) but we sadly were unable to add this bird to our list of the day (it would have been a lifer for us).

At the small pond all was fairly quiet. Some Painted Turtles sun bathed on the scattered logs which littered its murky surface, huge bloated forms of Bullfrog Tadpoles were visible beneath the Lily Pads, a Green Heron watched us suspiciously from the far bank, a Wooly Bear lumbered across the path. The caterpillars three thick brown and black stripes were easy to pick out on the gray of the gravel which covered the path. Huge colorful Dragonflies darted through the air, eyes scanning for a tasty delicacy known as a fly, and a loan Turkey Vulture soared gracefully above.

It was a great day all in all (hopefully we will be back at Trustom soon for another fascinating experience)!

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