Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Dinner For Muskrats And Egrets

I took a ride down to check on the flooded portion of route 17 in Portland this morning. I didn't see any ducks swimming around the highway but there were a couple of Great Blue Herons and plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds. My most interesting find was a Muskrat that didn't seem to be disturbed by my presence. It was busy feeding on some vegetation just a few feet away from me. There is some information about muskrats and their status in Connecticut on the DEP Wildlife Fact Sheet. They can stay under water for as long as 20 minutes.
Here is a view of the flooded route 17 next to the fairgrounds. You can see the yellow lines just below the water. I saw some people in canoes exploring the flooded fields. Some drivers think they can drive through this but this is a mistake because it is much deeper than it looks. A couple of years ago someone had to be rescued when their car didn't make it through.

click to play
Here's a video of the muskrat passing up the traditional Easter ham dinner in favor of a vegetarian meal.
Yesterday I made a short visit to Hammonasset in the morning. I saw my first Pine Warbler of the Spring, an Eastern Meadowlark, and a White-eyed Vireo. There were a few birds near the shore area as well including Red-breasted mergansers, and Dunlin. There were several Osprey that have already claimed the nesting platforms.
I also enjoyed watching this Great Egret trying to swallow down a small fish. I'm not sure what kind of fish it is-maybe a Sea Robin?
click to play
Here is the video footage of the egret trying to eat the fish. I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!


Kay Baughman said...

Happy Easter to you. I like the blog, especially the video of the egret--interesting how he beats up on the fish before swallowing it.

Nikki Comer said...

Easter is the demonstration of God that life is essentially spiritual and timeless.
Hope you had a Egg-ceptional, Eggs-traordinary Easter !!!


Chris said...

Happy Easter to you too Larry... This is a very nice post, I love the video of the muskrat... Beautiful creature! The one of the egret trying to eat the fish is nice too and quite funny!

Lana Gramlich said...

I was sketching once in the middle of a gull nesting area & a muskrat just came ambling by like nothing was going on. It was really cool.

dguzman said...

I haven't seen as many returning migrants as you; I'm hoping to head out and see some today, though.

Larry said...

Kay-Thanks-It looks like it was having some difficulty trying to swallow it.

Chris-thanks-same to you and your family.

Lana-Maybe this muskrat was related to the one you saw.

dzugman-I kind of like it when they come gradually so you don't get hit with too many at once.

Unknown said...

Just curious what area you go to when you visit Hammonasset? I've noticed there is an area north of the nature center, but I have never checked it out

Larry said...

I usually drive though the west beach area to have a look around-walk the nature trail at willard's Island,check the area around the nature center and across from it,walk the shoreline trail at Meig's point and then go back to check the campground area.-I check the other trail your talking about too but it can be slow.

Kathie Brown said...

I have only birded here once. I need to go back!

Larry said...

Kathiebirds-It's a consistently good place to go birding.