Friday, March 11, 2005

News from Away

I'm away from Thomasburg for a few days--staying in Prince Edward County, from which I've reported tidbits before.

Notable here this week is that the great horned owls are still vocal, day and night, while in Thomasburg they've been quiet for a while now. I'm hearing not just the regular hooting but also what some call the "harnk" call. There are some good sites that have audio files of the call, such as Greg Clark's Great-horned Owl Nest, Nestling Photographs, Sound Recording and FFT Analysis or the great horned page at The Owl Pages.

Here in the County, a place which is almost an island in Lake Ontario, I'm just a comfortable walk away from the lakeshore. This afternoon I walked down the lane to the water, checking out the tracks and scats (tracks: raccoon, skunk, rabbit, squirrel, deer, domestic cat, coyote, and mystery; scat: mystery, some kind of large bird), listening to the owl, chickadees, woodpeckers calling and drumming, along the way, thinking that maybe I'd see something on the huge expanse of ice that is South Bay (tiny relative to the lake of course).

There is a marsh here, just before the beach, and there was a set of tracks into it, too degraded to make out, probably raccoon, but they put me in mind of otter. When I got to the lake there was a dark shape way out and moving away at an angle. Otter? Luckily I had my binoculars. It was a coyote making its way across the bay to a wooded area between the well-spaced house lots.

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