Sunday, March 13, 2011

River Otter!

On the way back from an errand, I popped into the Nahanton Street entrance to the park in hopes of seeing the mergansers. Stood on the dock and saw one Canadian goose.

Then I spotted a dark brown weasel-like creature on the opposite bank under the overpass. I quickly drove to the top of the driveway, hopped out and ran to the bridge to get a closer look. I got a really good view of it, but unfortunately didn't have my camera. It had dark brown fur with a medium fluffy tale and the cutest face. It's back was slightly humped as it walked along on short legs. I think it was about 18" long with a tail that was about 18" or so.

Though this is the third time I am revising this entry, I am pretty certain it was a river otter having temporarily gotten confused about the other possibilities! The weasel family also consists of regular weasels, fisher cats and minks (and all can swim!), but Haynes said minks are much smaller. When I saw Ian a week later, it turned out he had seen the otter in the same spot but on the Saturday so it was definitely hanging out there. It was not a beaver or muskrat because of the tail. I followed it a little ways and it went right into the river but didn't seem terribly frightened as it stayed in one area by the banks. I think Jon Regosin had told us on a walk last summer that the river otters were moving from the south up this way. It's so exciting that we have them at our park if indeed we do!

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