2009/03/07

Rare sightings...all in one

I had my first driver's lesson today to bring me up to speed for my upcoming full driver's license test in the upcoming month or two. Can't say I am a big fan of driving, but it's a necessity that we as humans can't live without. I know that. But sometimes I rather walk, bike, or take the bus than drive. The lesson went okay, although driving a smaller and lighter Toyota feels different from driving an old Chrysler mini-van - causing me to turn too quickly and drive over the lines. Oops. I hope I can get use to the instructor's car soon so that I don't have any problem passing the test. Cross my fingers!

With that finished in mid-day, I biked my way to the dyke, and today's sightings were unbelievable! I saw an American Bittern, a Muskrat, and three Coyotes all in one day!!! Amazing! Here are some of the photos I took.

This was what the afternoon started out as. Beautiful, isn't it?

And then I saw this bird hiding among the Cattails. It's an American Bittern!

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
What gave them away (or how I usually spot them) is usually their round bodies. The brown streaks on the neck are absolutely fantastic in avoiding being seen, but their round fat body just stands out in a field of tall, stringy Cattails. Maybe they should not be too close to the edge of the field in the first place.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
My friend, the Great Blue Heron, posing for me.

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
Then I saw something swimming in the water. Definitely not a duck nor a snake. It's a Muskrat! I spent a good 10 to 20 minutes looking for it in the water or behind some bushes. I could never get the perfect shot! Just as I was giving up and moving on...

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)
I saw it again. Out of the water and nibbling on grasses. A snowfall is headed our way again tonight so this is probably the reason why I am seeing this little guy again! I always see them when weather is about to turn bad. I kind of like it now.

Male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Beautiful male Mallard feasting on the grasses in Terra Nova.

Clouds!
And the clouds are coming! Covering the entire region in coldness and whiteness.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
As I was heading home, I heard howls and yelps in the distance. They were the Coyotes. I am pretty sure they were the ones I saw last time. Although I only saw three today, not four.

Doing its business.

Coyote (Canis latrans)
This one seemed to be the pack leader, as it was followed by two others.

The "Two Others". I definitely recognize the one on the left that is infected with the mange mite. I don't understand if the Coyotes are really common or not in this area, because nobody seems to be amazed at appreciating these beautiful wild mammals literally walking beside us. I just don't understand when I am the only one getting excited seeing them when others should be too.

Sigh. Bad weather is coming. This late into Winter too?
.

2 comments:

Hugh said...

I'm really enjoying the pictures you're getting with your new camera. This series was tremendous.

PSYL said...

Thanks, Hugh.

With a great camera comes a great responsibility to take enjoyable pictures to share with everyone. I'm glad you're enjoying the photos. I am having a fun time taking the pictures too now. No more complaining about unable to see the animal in the distance.

Cheers.

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