Sunday, January 29, 2017

Searching for Otters

It's almost the end of January, yet Shingle Creek remains completely ice free! A friend and I decided to hike the length of the creek through the park today in hopes of seeing an Otter. There have been signs of them recently, but this is one mammal I've actually NEVER seen in the wild yet. It was a sunny day but there wasn't much to be seen in the way of mammals OR birds. I did catch this photo of a Black-capped Chickadee somewhere along the way but I don't remember where exactly. Later as we were nearing the middle of the park, I noticed this funny little ice formation clinging to a stick poking up out of the creek. This is how little ice there is right now –almost unprecedented for this time of year! After searching high and low, we never did see any Otters which was unfortunate. Later we found a small group of American Robins chowing down on buckthorn berries. These are "overwintering" birds that never left for the winter. Over the years I've learned that the Palmer Lake area must provide adequate shelter and food sources for Robins and I've encountered them here in winter pretty much every season.

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