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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Kingfisher Chatters

(a blog about Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge)

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Click on the photos below for larger views

Recent Sightings

The Kingfisher has been busy now that the snow and ice are gone.  Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is teeming with wildlife.  Many species noted were “First-of-Year” (FOY) observations on the Refuge for me.  Among them:
Figure 1  Eastern Garter Snake (FOY).  Did you know that
it was recently discovered that they are mildly venomous?
Photographed at the North Gate parking lot (20 Apr 2014)

Figure 2  Easy to see how the Yellow-rumped Warbler
got its name.  This is a male photographed along 
Winterberry Way (20 Apr 2014)

Figure 3  Another view of the Yellow-rumped Warbler

Figure 4  Yet one more shot of Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Look at the yellow epaulet visible under the wing (20 Apr 2014)

Figure 6  Front view of Pine Warbler (FOY) along
Winterberry Way, 20-Apr 2014

Figure 8  Northern Water Snake, Part 2.  Winterberry Way, 20 Apr 2014

Figure 9  Northern Cardinal

20 Apr 2014

Figure 12  Canada Goose feeding along Otter Alley
(20 Apr 2014)


Other animals seen (but escaped unphotographed) include:

  • River Otter (FOY) in Footbridge Marsh along Taylor Way
  • Snapping Turtle (FOY) crawling across Taylor Way at Footbridge Marsh (seen from distance)
  • Pileated Woodpecker (FOY at the Refuge) on the ground on Otter Alley
  • Dead Muskrat in field near the intersection of Taylor Way and Otter Alley
  • Mourning Cloak butterfly (FOY) at the intersection of Winterberry Way and Taylor Way

 Trail Cam Activity

After noticing some possible body slide tracks or large tail drag tracks in the mud below Otter Alley Trail near the west-most culvert, an automatically activated Trail Cam was set up there in hopes of photographing aquatic mammals.  

Figure 16  Drag or slide marks in mud likely made by aquatic mammal(s)

Here’s what was seen:

Figure 17  Mouse of unknown species

Figure 18  American Robin

Figure 19  Pair of Mallards

Figure 20  TA-DAH!  Finally....a beaver!
After months of trying to photograph a beaver, one was finally shot.  Now all three aquatic mammals at ARNWR have been photographed: muskrat; otter; beaver.  The latter two are in need of live daylight shots yet.  I'm working on it.

Historic Bus Tour of the Refuge

Paul Boothroyd of Maynard led a wonderful Historic bus tour of the refuge on Sunday, April 27th.  He has so much information about the lands that are now the Refuge as well as the families who lived there.  He's an amazing resource and eager to share his knowledge.  It was exceptionally interesting.   One of the first stops was at Igloo #309

Figure 22  The historic tour included entry into Igloo #309 (27 Apr 2014)

The spring bird migration is in full swing.  It's a terrific time to visit the Refuge.  

Come see me soon at ARNWR

                            - The Kingfisher

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