Wetland Visits

A small, shallow pond and wetland a few miles south of home supports a variety of wildlife in late summer: shorebirds, herons, turtles, muskrats and, occasionally an egret. I haven’t been on site early enough to beat the Great Blue Heron and Great Egret to their feeding grounds, but have had some interesting observations and encounters.

Stump viewed through a patch of Joe-Pye Weed in full bloom

Green Heron

Broad-leaved (Common) Arrowhead; wetland wildflower

Foraging Muskrat

Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

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14 thoughts on “Wetland Visits

    • I get two conflicting responses from the neighborhood locals. Some are grateful for the enlightenment, others insist I should be working for the tourism agency because I make things seem much more interesting than they they really are!!

    • Thank you. I really like those little herons too. Their shoreline feeding behavior and multitude of working and resting postures are fascinating. Hope to do more at this site before the weather changes for the worse.

    • If that’s the case you must find the time to type muskrat in my blog post search box — I’ve had a lot of fun with those little furbearers over the years. I’ve heard from several reliable sources that populations have crashed in recent years. Theories range from the invasion of Phragmites, a serious wetland invasive that replaces cattails (preferred muskrat habitat) to coyote predation (when there is shoreline ice).

      • Have taken a most enjoyable virtual ramble through your neck of the woods. Interesting that the muskrat populations decrease while the nutria take a hold? Coyote hunting tactics sound intriguing.. along shoreline ice.

    • Thanks. I see the Green Heron often, usually feeding along the shore on the other side of the pond (where else?!), much too far for a shot. On this morning it flew to the stump that I’ve locked in on, hoping to catch the egret coming in for a landing. Going out very early tomorrow…

  1. Nick, it sounds like we play similar roles in our wetland neighborhoods! We were remarking this afternoon that we haven’t seen any muskrats this year. Nor…have we seen any Nutria. Only active large mammals are our beavers…yeah! I enjoyed the collection of critters you shared in this post. Keep up the good stewardship. Hope you spot your egret. We won’t see any Great Egrets here for a while yet… Sightings have been in November and March 😉
    ~Jane

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