When a beaver fells a tree a diversity in nature will emerge, but when man fells a tree not much good will come of it.

-Soper

 

Beaver Pond

2008 Notes From The Beaver pond

January 19, 2008 It was a cold this morning at 4F with a wind chill of -14F below but I made the trek to the Beaver pond anyway. Arriving a little before 7:00 am and setting up at the edge the pond there was not much action just the high pitched sounds of the ice and the creaking of the frozen trees and the occasional chatter of my teeth. The sun was shinning beautifully on the opposite bank but there was nothing to photograph excepts a lone squirrel. I did hear a Beaver breaking through the ice and could see his head bobbing in the cold water to the west of me but to far to photograph. I always look forward to my first visit to the pond after months from not being there, but my first visit for 2008 was a cold one I only came away with a tired shivering body and a few pictures of a fox squirrel on this extreme winter day, I packed it in at 10:15 am, I’ll be back.

January 27, 2008 Temperature was 10F when I left the house this morning. I got into the woods a little before 7:00 am and decided to setup at a small flowing stream the entered the pond near the dam, I decided to setup there because I would have the sun to my back and the Beavers had a dam on the creek that provided some open water, the main pond was frozen over and snow covered. I set in that spot till a little past 11:00 am only seeing a Muskrat in the small pond feeding on vegetation along the edge. I headed over to the main pond and stayed there till after 1:00 PM, I saw a Raccoon walking through the woods on the opposite bank. Something scared up three rooster pheasants at the west end of the pond, I was hoping for a Coyote or Fox but I didn’t see a thing. Right before I packed up a Coopers hawk flew across the pond and landed in a tree near me but only stayed for less then 10 seconds, with that I packed up and left.

February 2, 2008 Deep snow in the woods this morning, got there around 6:30 am and went to a different location next to the a second Beaver dam to the south of the main lodge. Didn't see any major mammals or large birds only Blue jays, Cardinals, Nuthatches, Downey woodpeckers and crows. The setting was very beautiful with nine inches of snow throughout the woods pilled up on rock and branch while the flowing creek gently made it's way through heaped mounds on sculpted snow. The sun didn't shine for me this morning and a gentle breeze finely chilled me out around 11:00 am, did get a few shots of the Cardinals though.

February 3, 2008 I think today will be the last day of the nice snow we have had in the woods a weather change is coming and we are supposed to get rain for the next few days. I made it into the woods before 7:00 am this morning and setup in the same place I did yesterday, it really looked nice but I didn't see a darn thing to photograph I enjoyed being out in nature though. A Rudy Crowned Kinglet did come by were I was setting within feet of me working it's way through the small leafless bushes. Crows and Canada geese could be seen in the skies while there. I did here the frantic sounds of distress off in the distance sounded like a cottontail, perhaps a hawk scored. I can't wait till the main pond thaws and provides some open water for the ducks and geese to start moving in. Packed it up around 11:30 it was a nice walk out of the woods back to the truck.

February 9, 2008 I arrived at the woods after 6:30 am this morning and made my way to the edge of the mostly ice covered pond. I could see down to the west at the Beaver dam the water was opening up where the creeks flowed in and there was some flooding in the low areas on the north side. There was lots of Canada geese and Mallards going in and out of the this flooded area, I seen a pair of Hooded Mergansers swim out in front of the dam and up the creek. Down near were I was setting a Mink with a heavy winter coat ran through the snow covered woods right next to me, a bit later he was on the other side of the pond searching the bank heading east. A Large Raccoon with no tail crossed the frozen pond. Down above the open water in a dead tree there were around thirty Cedar Waxwing, they would fly down a few at a time into the some bushes that had dark berries in them. I stayed till about 12:00.

February 13, 2008 It was 10F this morning but a promise of sun inspired my drive, I got setup a little before seven. The water that was open by the dam this past Saturday was again closed and iced over, the pond had a new cover of snow and indeed the sun did come out but not much else. I saw a large hawk down by the dam and a lot of noisy Crow fly overs, an Eastern Red squirrel was giving me heck from behind on a large hickory tree a few times while I was there. The sunlight and the snow was beautiful this morning and the chill worked hard to drive me away but I held my frozen ground till 11:00 then packed up and made my way out of the woods.

February 23, 2008 20F this morning with no wind and I got to the pond before sunup. The sun did show for a bit early but soon gave way to cloud cover that lasted till about 11:00 when I packed it up, anyway the pond is still froze over which means no waterfowl. I did have a Coyote come trotting by and was able to get a few shots early. There were lots of blue jays in the area, I saw a little Eastern Red squirrel in the woods behind me. A opossum was exploring the Beaver bank lodge on the other side. Oh I forgot to mention When I was hit the trail this morning I could hear Coyote’s howling and barking down in the direction of the pond, that sure excited me to get down there.

February 24, 2008 It was a beautiful morning at the pond the sun peaking over the horizon no clouds and no wind with temps around 20F. I didn’t have any great photo ops but it was sure nice just to spend some February time at the pond without feeling froze. The ice on the pond was making low cracking sounds as the sun heated the ice the whole time I was there. There were large flocks of Canada geese flying over and groups of Blue jay’s all around making noise. I saw a few Eastern red squirrels in the trees behind me and got some shots of those little guys, Red bellied woodpeckers were searching for food from tree to tree with some nice sound effects, just before I left an immature Bald Eagle soared above heading north and I packed up around 12:00 and headed east.

March 1, 2008 Got to the pond at 6:30 am this morning the sky was clear and the sun was coming. The pond is still iced over but with an obvious slow melt going on, the ice was groaning with low fracture sounds going in all directions. Large numbers of Canada geese could be heard over on the river with a occasional fly overs alone with some ducks. A Bald Eagle flew by around 9:30 am. I saw a King fisher setting on a Wood duck house down by the dam fishing over a small bit of open water. I spotted a Coyote searching the opposite bank and thought he look to be limping and could see after I got home while viewing the photos that his right rear leg was swollen a bit at the joint. I did see another Coyote moving through the woods before I left around 11:00 am.

March 2, 2008 It started out like it was going to be a spring day, the sun glowing on the horizon and the birds singing in the woods, well I did get some nice sun for a few hours but the dark clouds rolled in and a little rain fell. All morning hundreds and hundreds Canada geese flew by going all directions, I had a flock of about 40 Cackling geese fly right overhead, there vocalization made them stick out like a sore thumb. There were small groups of Pintails passing by. Closer to earth a really nice Red Tail hawk came and circled and then headed over the woods. I stayed till about 11:00 am and then headed out of the woods, on my drive home the fields were full of Canada geese, I wondered if those Cackling geese were out there somewhere.

March 9, 2008 Got to the Beaver pond around 6:30 am this morning and could see more open water down by the dam, there was about 100 Canada geese on the ice and in the water along with many ducks so I worked my way down there. The geese and most of the ducks left as I made my way through the woods but I knew they would be back. Two male Hooded mergansers and one female plus three female Ringnecks flew in and were there till I left around 12:30. After about an hour I seen about 15 to 20 Bluebirds fly across the pond about a 100 yards to the east, I had about 7 other Bluebirds land near me just to the west of were I was. There were large flocks of Grackles around 500 or more in the trees behind me they would leave and come back, there were about the same number of Redwing blackbird that came in and stayed in the trees a good ten minutes before moving on.

March 15, 2008 Got to the woods 30 minutes before the sun, the cloud cover made the woods even darker as I made my way to the Beaver pond and found a spot to setup. The pond is completely ice free and a Beaver swam and circled out in front of where I was as I unloaded my gear, I am sure the Beaver was not happy with me showing up at her pond. The light was very poor this morning and I expected many ducks and was a bit disappointed not to see more activity. Four Turkey vultures came flying by very low one landed in a dead tree about forty feet to my right and stayed a few minutes. There were a pair of Canada geese way down to the east and I could see a few Ring necked ducks swimming down past the geese. A pair of Hooded Merganser made there way down and swam past me early and I got a few grainy shots, the Ring necked ducks came by eventually and I got a few shots of them. The Beaver family two adults and two first year young were on the bank across from me enjoying a snack before bed time. It got colder then I dressed for with the occasional snow and a fisherman showing up down not far from me was a good excuse for me to pack it in at 10:30.

March 16, 2008 Made it to the pond before sun up this morning the broken clouds to the east gave me hope of some sunshine. A pair of Beaver were feeding along the opposite bank for a short while before they disappeared for the day. Well the sun did shine for a while till the clouds rolled in with a cold north west wind that was right in my face that kept me chilled for most of the morning till they finally cleared for good. I seen a least four Green winged Teal, four Hooded Mergansers, six Gadwall, nine Woodduck with pair that were mating, six Ring necked ducks, and two Turkey vultures. A Belted Kingfisher was busy doing what Kingfisher do, I think I heard him more then I seen him through out the morning. I did see my first Turtles of the year sunning on a log down to the east of me. I packed up at 12:30 PM and headed out of the woods.

March 22, 2008 Cold, windy and snowing this morning at the Beaver pond. I got to the pond before light the snow was coming down and the wind made me wonder what I was doing there, but it was all worth it to see an Osprey come in and do a little fishing. A Kingfisher was working the pond early, the Canada geese are really territorial now just before nesting time, the pair that were there chased all other geese away that came into their stretch of the pond. There were about twenty Woodduck mostly male that were on the pond along with about ten Blue winged teal, a pair of Widgeon, a pair of Ring necked, a lone female Golden eye, and four Mallards. I packed up a 10:30 maybe some sun tomorrow, I hope.

March 23, 2008 Much better weather today then yesterday with thin clouds and sunshine and the wind was only around 5 miles and hour. When I first arrived at the pond the sun was still below the horizon and a Beaver circled for a least 30 minutes slapping her tail on the water trying to drive me away. There were four Mallards on the ponds, eight Wood ducks, six Blue winged teal, one male Hooded merganser, a pair of Ringed necks, and a single female Golden eye. There were two Great blue heron fishing down to the east, a King fisher showed up only once and not for very long. The pair of Canada geese that will nest there continued to chase other geese away. I stayed till 11:30.

April 13, 2008 Arrived at the Beaver pond at around 12:30 PM today with mostly cloud cover and a NNE wind with gusts around 30 mph. Not much happening on the pond, way down at the east end of the I could see four Blue winged teal and a Northern shoveler together. The pair of Canada geese are still not letting any other geese on the pond where they are guarding their nest. I moved to a creek that is also dammed by Beavers about 50 feet south of the main pond to get a look at a Kingfisher that I kept hearing. At the creek there were a pair of Swamp sparrows hanging around this large clump of dried grass. One of the sparrows looked to be an almost full grown bird with baby features but that sure seems to early for that, perhaps a first year bird. I noticed through the woods a large Red tail hawk chasing an Osprey, the Osprey flew the length of the pond before it disappeared. Got some pictures of the sparrows and headed out of the woods around 4:00 PM

April 20, 2008 Made it to the pond at around 1:30 PM today. A Prothonotary warbler was looking for food on a downed tree in the pond which I enjoyed watching very much. Other little Warblers were in the trees around me but I am really not sure what they were. I seen two pair of Blue-winged teal on the pond while I was there, also a Great Blue Heron. Red bellied woodpeckers were drumming the whole time I was there. I am starting to see the pond vegetation reaching the surface and the pond still has a good water level. Lots of turtles sunning on every log on the pond. Stayed till about 4:00 PM.

May 17, 2008 Got out to the pond a little before 7:00 am this morning. The Canada goose is no longer setting on the nest but the pair was on the pond with no young. The Baltimore orioles were singing an flying across the pond also I saw some Red breasted grosbeaks hanging around the pond plus some very small migratory warblers in the small trees near me. A pair of Wood ducks was close to where I was. I saw three of four snakes on the water with numerous turtles sunning on logs. I had one Great blue heron fly by before I left around 10:30 am.

May 24, 2008 Arrived at the pond a little before 7:00 am this morning and the woods is growing thick and my trail is disappearing. The highlight for me was the young Eastern red squirrels, I must have seen at least five or six where I sat. There were three young ones hanging around their hole on the down side of a branch and they certainly entertained me while I was there. The Baltimore orioles were helping themselves to the nectar on the trees with blossoms and a Phoebe was looking territorial and could be seen the whole time I was there. A Red-headed woodpecker was working the trees just north of me with a lot of vocalization. Headed out of the woods around 10:30 am.

June 1, 2008 Arrived at the pond a little before 7:00 am hiked through the thick undergrowth and setup at the west end and just south of the dam where the woods opens up to some tall grasses with a few dead trees mixed in. I watched a kingbird off to my right busy chancing bugs and returning to the same stump each time. To my left a pair of great crested fly catchers where busy bringing nesting material to a hollow in a dead tree. An eastern wood pewee was hanging out in this open area along with red winged black birds, a hummingbird, great blue heron, little green heron while large groups of turkey vaulters gliding over head were seen while I was there. I packed up a little past 11:00 and it was starting to get very warm the hike out of the woods was a hard sweaty walk I was happy to be back to the truck.

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