Posts filed under ‘Critter spotting’
The Spring 2011 CLA Newsletter is now available. Please click here to download the newsletter: CLA_Spring_2011_Newsletter
Our loon pair has come back, always an anticipated and hopeful event. They are taking up residence in their old haunts. We give them our blessings and wish them well for a productive and successful season. The usual Chocorua mammals have been reported including deer, fishers, otters, coyotes, porcupines, and a few moose. Winter birds too, seem to be holding steady: herry and downey woodpeckers, chickadees, titmice, sparrows, and an occasional cardinal have come to feeders, but are eating less. Both John and David reported that this year seed consumption was way down. In February, a bald eagle graced our shores on its way further north.
Alice Waylett writes a charming report on the beginnings of spring in Chocorua. “Today, I had a visit from a Great Blue Heron that politely perched on the lake edge right in front of my living room window. The phoebes are searching for nesting sites; please not over my doorway again! I had a great view of a fisher cat early March. It came down my driveway, up the kitchen walk and up on the first step of the porch. It seemed to be sniffing a squirrel track through the new dusting of snow. I watched it for about a minute before it ran off. The usual otter clan was entertaining while the lake was partially covered with ice, and quite noticeably skittering along the edges. My little deer herd, down to three this year, paid several visits when the snow started to recede. I only saw them a few times as the winter was such an easy one that they had ample opportunity to find something edible elsewhere. The Hooded Merganser came by a few times, and for the first time that I have seen, brought along a significant other. I’ve only seen a few Common Mergansers this year. Maybe the loons have sufficiently educated them to gather elsewhere? Our old buddies, the snapping turtles, won’t appear until it gets a bit warmer so they can sun themselves on the rocks. Haven’t seen any moose since last fall when Momma Moose ambled next to my house with her two teenagers. Amazing how near all these critter will come when we have a house in which to hide!”
The Thrush Survey will again be held on the weekend of June 19 and 20. This year, I suspect the black flies and mosquitoes will be out in numbers, but we will hope for the best. Please alert me to your bat sightings if any.
Comments and wildlife stories are always welcome. Enjoy your spring and hope to see you soon. Harriet Hofheinz hhofheinz at verizon.net
These pictures were taken 5/16/2010 below 3rd lake in the narrows just above the dam. This is the second large snapping turtle we saw that day, another was spotted at the head of the lake near the river inlet just 30 minutes prior. So there is no question that there are at least two large turtles.
To get a sense of his size, the log on the right side of the rock is a rail road tie about 14 inches square – this is one well fed critter. We estimated that from tip to end of tail he was about 3-4 ft. long. If you have seen this fellow, or one of his cousins, please add a comment below.
Contributed by Harriet Hofheinz
Lots of individual sightings this fall. Bill Vander Clute reported seeing a Bald Eagle by the lake’s edge August 14th and may have been the first to spot the all-to-tame Cormorant enjoying the Little Lake as early as Aug. 17th. At that time, Bill was amazed at how close he could get to it before it dove. I would presume (maybe wrongly) it was the same bird that so boldly occupied the big Lake later in August. Often taking up residence on the Wheeler’s raft and not budging when various swimmers arrived. Some thought he (she) was possibly hurt or ill, but I think it was just unafraid of people. David Farley has a photo of it sitting on the bow of someone’s kayak while being paddled. Another immature Bald Eagle and an Osprey were sighted later in August. Thrushes too were in evidence. Ken Smith sighted two Wood thrushes around his house and a number of Hermit thrushes were singing from time to time right up to Labor Day.
On the mammal side, perhaps 4 or 5 moose have been sighted particularly this September and of course, deer, fox and coyote and a bear or two. Fischer cats also have been sighted near the Rubel’s house in their new clearing.
During the summer months, July and August there was some unfortunate delinquent hunting going on in and around the Philbrick, Loring and Lake Roads. Shots could be heard both after dark and during the day. The culprits were after the hind ends of both deer and young moose, skinning them on the spot and casting away the part of the animal they did not want. Some of these incidents were reported to both the Tamworth police Dept. and the Fish and Wildlife Agency, but there wasn’t a coordinated approach to this and nobody was caught. Next summer if such activity continues, there will be a greater attempt to report all gunshots heard and carcasses found.
There is a move afoot, to rename this “column” Critter Sightings to bring it more up-to-date with our new interactive webpage, http://www.chocorualakeassociation.wordpress.com Does anyone want to weigh in on this idea? Be in touch.