Sunday, November 8, 2015

Of Birds and Beavers

Once again we took advantage of the best part of the day to get in a bird walk.  Based on the weather forecast for rain that was moving in, it looked like the best window of opportunity would be in the morning to the south-east of Salem. It was just starting to sprinkle when we left Salem and we drove into dry weather before we got to Lyons and our destination the Lyons City Park. The skies stayed clear for an hour and we almost made it back to the car before it started raining.

The Lyons City Park is a favorite of ours for birding, but beyond that it is a perfect place to observe nature in harmony.  Busy beavers continue work on dams that have resulted in a series of ponds that provide the perfect habitat for water birds like ducks and geese.  On this trip we saw newly arrived migrants of Ring-necked Ducks and Gadwalls, augmenting the resident Mallards, Canada Geese, Mergansers and Wood Ducks. Additional birds that like to hang out around the water were Kingfishers and Herons. 

At first glance you may assume this photo of a beaver is taken looking down directly above him.  If so, your eyes are playing a trick on you.  The photo was taken from the side and the reflection in the water is making an almost perfect second image.  I didn't realize I had a reflection in the water until I got home and downloaded the photo into the computer. While walking the trails around the many ponds, we spotted this beaver up against the bank holding very still, I think he assumed he might be unnoticed if he held very still. These ponds used to have a large population of Nutria when we started birding there in 2013, but at some point someone did something, which is a good thing, and yesterday we only saw beaver and their handiwork.  They have constructed some amazing dams that well are worth the trip to the park just to marvel at their expertise. 

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