Sunday, March 18, 2012

More Strange Happenings On the West Side Of The Vermilon River. A Post to MWT and WBW.

When we're hiking the west side of the River, I always like to check in with Huegin, Broken Beak, clan leader of the Ravens. I introduced him in an earlier post. He usually comes up with a fine show for us. All these photos are reduced in size to about 700 pixels, one side, so click to enlarge, and watch the slide show.

Although this time he warned me that spring was here, and all the creatures were moving around and acting pretty frisky. So I should take care.

Huegin runs a tight clan as these Ravens are showing. It's a perfect eyes right.

And indeed a perfect eyes left.

Then, things seem to go to pieces, and the larger one, the male seems to be asking for a date. All accompanied by the aerobatics shown below.

Raven In Flight. Below Raven Landing.

After all that display, I wonder what would come next.

The day was perfect, although it started with cool temperatures. But as the day progressed the sun came out, and it became quite warm. I couldn't get into the west trail as the snow was too icy with the melt, so I just used the road. Opposite is the River to the north

The River to the South.

The River to the North.

The River to the south, but concentrating on the rocky bank, and showing more open water.

I bumped into some friends and just as we sat down to talk, there was movement on the river shoreline, fairly far up stream. I'm shooting with the 150-500mm, so you have some idea how far away this critter is. He's got the mustelid or weasel shape.

He continued to forage the area, possibly hunting for red squirrels or rabbits that live in the immediate area.

The back view shows his ears, and colouring.


And this view shows his shape even more.

Unfortunately he then left at a leisurely pace, of course leaving the question which mustelid was he? All four live here. The Marten, the Mink, The Fisher ,and of course the grandaddy of them all the Wolverine. I went immediately to the web, and actually to wikipedia under the four classifications as their copy and photos are pretty good. Their photos are in the public domain; and, hence usable with attribution. The wolverine the marten and the fisher are courtesy of Wikipedia then. The mink are my shots taken last year.   

I enlarged the new photos to get some idea of the colour variations in the coat. At about 300 percent the photo is grainy, but there is a colour mask on the face in the new shots. Opposite is my wild mink shots, and there is not a real face mask, just an orange patch under the chin, shown in another photo.

Cute little fellow, but don't take him home as he'll eat the cat and dog.

This is a Wikipedia shot of a Fisher called a Fisher-Cat in the US. He's bigger, although I don't find size a good indicator, because we're not in the zoo with all these guys lined up together. He, also, doesn't have much of a face mask. So I don't think it's a Fisher.

This is the grandaddy of them all, the wolverine again courtesy of Wikipedia. But he's too big, and has colour variations in his coat, although he has a face mask. Our guy does not have the coat variations.

Again from Wikipedia this is a Marten. He is the smallest of them all, has the face mask, and definitely the ears of our guy.  So I'd say that our unknown is a Marten, although there is a chance he could be a mink. Anyone who wants to add an opinion, feel free. It's funny with four legged critters in the wilderness suddenly they're there and then they're gone. Again Huegin, Broken Beak came through with a great show.

Now it's time to stop playing detective and post some known wildlife like this Black-capped Chickadee. I still have some Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks left, although the Redpoll flock is much diminished., and only one or two Grosbeaks remain.

Male Pine Grosbeak

Female Pine Grosbeak

Male Pine Grosbeak

Male Pine Grosbeak

Female Pine Grosbeak

Opposite, another close up of a Female Pine Grosbeak. A post to MWT @ http://ourworldtuesdaymeme.blogspot.com/ and WBW @ http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/  JUST A NOTE AND YOU SHOULD WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE HOW TOUGH THESE GUYS ARE AND THE PINE MARTEN IS THE SMALLEST OF THEM.: I received an email from Jack Illingworth at NWO Birds, a group from the North Lake Superior area that I belong to. At their cottage, they hung end of date meat, and attracted a Pine Marten, and video taped it. It's probably one of the best tapes I've seen. I have always wanted to bait wildlife for photography, but they like me live in a wilderness. There are no friendly rangers to get you out of trouble. They have their cottage to go to, and I don't. Anyway watch the video to see how aggressive these guys are and remember they're the small members of the family. Click http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamuudsen/6995526497/in/photostream

56 comments:

  1. nice spotting (and i.d.ing) the marten! :)

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  2. the synchronized raven moves were cool, too!

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  3. How fascenating meating al this beautiful creatures must have been to you. Fantastic post. Thanks for sharing. Visting your blog is a pleasure to my eyes.
    gr. Marijke

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  4. Wow .... such a fantastic series, great photos ...
    Greeting Karin

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  5. A wonderful post... you see some fantastic wildlife Gary.

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  6. How very fun! I love your little critter, whoever he is. I agree he should remain in the wild, not come home to our domesticated critters.

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  7. Hi Gary

    Your photos are are wonderful. The Ravens are great and I am amazed that you were about to get the shot of the mustelid. As nornmal your bird and landscape photos are very good and I get a really nice sense of place from your post.

    Thanks Guy

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  8. Beautiful set of photos.

    Regards and best wishes

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  9. Great photos and descriptions of all the creatures you saw on your walk. The ravens look beautiful with the sun on their plumage.

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  10. The ravens are beautiful in the sun!

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  11. Congratulations on this exquisite work and bring the beauty of nature before our eyes. Greetings.

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  12. Many thanks to Huegin Broken Beak for the wonderful show! Loved the ravens with their sychronized high wire gestures. Nice detective work.

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  13. I'm going with Pine Marten, too. Def not mink or wolverine, doesn't 'feel' like a fisher.... great find!

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  14. · Fantastic. Photo-Nature seems easy there.

    · regards

    CR & LMA
    ________________________________
    ·

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  15. Thanks for the link, Gary. The video was actually made at our family's year-round house, and it was filmed through an open window.

    In the winter, hanging meat from a tree won't bring in anything too nasty, although we do put it in an indoor coldroom overnight to keep raccoons and the like away. In the summer you would never dream of doing it as it would bring bears in, and no one wants that. We have enough of them visiting as it is.

    My guess for your weasel is fisher. I don't see the colour mask (though I do see twigs in front of the animal's face) and the feet appear a bit small, but it's always tough to tell from a distance.

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    1. Sorry about the House vs cottage. Don't know where I got that from. I'm talking about baiting in the forest, and in the winter the Ontario hybird coyotes are around as well as some other critters, and in the woods we don't have a retreat. I'd certainly rather pass in the summer when the bears are about also, especially in the spring when they're fresh out of hibernation. Interesting about the fisher vs marten, I could live with either, and still be excited, but I'll check out the feet on the blowup. Thanks for the use of the video.Boom & Gary.

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  16. Wow - you spotted so many amazing wildlife! Just fabulous.

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  17. As always, you do get fantastic captures of the birds and critters in your world! Thanks for sharing the fun and the beauty, Gary! Have a great week!

    Sylvia

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  18. Loved your bird photos as usual, Gary, and your mystery critter looked cute from a difference, but I wouldn't want to have one at home, judging by that video. Wow, now THAT is a wild animal. It might let humans feed it, but it is in no way tame.
    K

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    1. That whole family is one tough family. The Marten is the smallest of them. A wolverine will face down a bear or a wolf pack. I thought the mink was going to come up the bank after me because I disturbed his hunting.

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  19. Amazing, Gary!
    Great shots of a beautiful World.
    Greeting from Holland,
    Anna :-))

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  20. Super that you can take so many pictures of animals in the wild.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  21. Great encounter Gary. Love the Raven's and your mystery mammal.

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  22. Fabulous shots Gary! We had hardly any snow here and it's getting up into the 80's tomorrow with the humidex.

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  23. Hi Gary, Oh - how I've enjoyed your photos and story (my husband, too, since I called him to see your mystery animal and the video of the Marten.) We had a Pine Marten living for years on our property here in Breckenridge (I live at 10, 200'). We haven't seen it in awhile, but it seems to effectively keep our squirrel population in check. I've also seen them in a trees while hiking a couple times. IMO, the animal you photographed looks too large for a Marten and might be a Fisher (though I've never seen one). At any rate, great shots! How do you manage to hold that long a zoom still enough? I have trouble keeping my 250mm quiet.

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  24. Wow, this is one critter I definitly wouldn't want to run into in the dark, let alone daylight! I don't think I would be hanging any form of meat out any time of the year if it attracts critters like this one!!

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  25. The Wolverine is so precious, thanks Gary,

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  26. I love the Raven shots - especially with the wings spread out :)
    A beautiful landscape!

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  27. Wonderful shots. This time you spotted new wildlife.

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  28. Hi!
    Your wildlife photos are amazing!
    We see the rose-breasted grosbeak, but I've never seen the pine grosbeak. They are stunning birds!
    Thank you for sharing these with us!
    ~ Maria

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  29. Terrific captures as always. I wish I could catch the birds like this....

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    1. Amazing variety of wildlife, and all of them new to me except for the Pine Marten. We do also have some escaped-from-farms mink, which are causing a real nuisance.

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  30. Wonderful post, Gary! You are very observant!

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  31. The grosbeaks are such beautiful birds and it's a treat to see them here.

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  32. A great post, - so many different birds!
    The broken beak, - you're observant!
    I wish you a haappy WBW!

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  33. So many beautiful photos! I think it is a Marten to, how nice that you got to photograph it!

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  34. That last part of the film clip was really funny!

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    1. I just had a really good belly laugh, Ken.

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  35. Woow, Im impressed - how you manage to get all theese great photos of the wild life :0) Love it. Raven is ravn in Norrwegian - it lives nearby where i grow up - but ill never seen it - just hear it :0) Have a nice evening ! :0)

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  36. The mink is a cool sighting. It is bigger than I imagined. THe birds are all gorgeous. Great post and photos.

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  37. Amazing that you could take such good pictures of these Marters ! and the bird pictures are beautiful too !

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  38. What a fine outing you had Gary! The birds are always gorgeous, and then to walk upon the sighting of this species of Marter, how wonderful was that!!! Your images, for having been so far away, truly show the creatures colouration and shape very well, and what a beauty it is too~

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  39. WoW....you got some amazing close-ups and the view is gorgeous!!

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  40. I could look at your grosbeak pictures all day, fantastic...
    There's a mink that runs the shoreline of the Pine river. I have a picture somewhere on the SD card. You are really putting that 150-500 to good use, very steady. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts, both positive and negitive, about that classic Sigma lens.
    Cheers to you Sir!

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  41. Your posts are always so informative and enjoyable. I love that you always include shots of the gorgeous scenery around you, along with the great wildlife captures.

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  42. Loved the outing -- thanks for taking me along. I like learning new info about the mustelids (that's my new word for the day!)...but I was happy when you said "time to get back to the familiar"....I feel like a walk around the vermilion river isn't really complete without your wonderful "usual suspects."

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  43. I can see that it is still winter in your area too, but compare to here, life is going on! That's again a wonderful post you got with these cute mammal fellow. Very beautiful post Gary!

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  44. Wow, that's quite a post! What a lot of excitement and good detective work! I hope you and boom are doing just fine up there in the winter lands!

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  45. Thanks everybody for your kind words and visits. Boom & Gary.

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  46. Another great post!
    Thanks for sharing, love your posts.

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  47. I learned a lot from you today ... thank you for an very informative post. I love your pictures and especially the Pine Grosbeak pair ... nice close ups.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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  48. Fantastic photos of the wildlife in your neck of the woods, Gary.

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  49. Wow...nice capture of the "critter"! Love that chickadee shot!

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