On Sunday, I was walking near the upper beaver pond approaching Autumn Ridge. I was checking the progress the beavers and the recent rains have made in restoring both beaver ponds. I was pleased to see both dams are being restored and the plentiful rain we have had over the past couple weeks has begun to refill the vast acres of ponds.
I walked for two hours and never saw another person, but I was greeted by hundreds of frogs, chipmunks, squirrels and birds. I was able to capture the beauty of my nature walk with my trusty iPhone camera.
As I was walking along the Habitat Trail, where it intersects with the Autumn Ridge Trail, I turned to get a picture of the path behind me. As I did, I observed something in a small pine tree. It looked recognizable, but I walked back for a closer look. Now I do not profess to be an avid birder, but I know a rare bird when I see one. There, right before me was the endangered Acrylic Tree Mallard (anas plasticus).
I approached it cautiously hoping to capture it on film before it took flight. Strangely, this creature had already begun it’s winter camouflage, shedding it’s colorful summer plumage and donning it’s winter whites. Quite remarkable indeed. I encourage you get out this fall and enjoy the trails.
BTW, I also spotted two very large bucks on Porcupine Hill. They were truly magnificent. That was really the high point of my walk, but the deer moved a lot faster than the duck did, so I didn’t get photos of them. If I did, this would have been a different story.