2.03.2008

A Mink Tale

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Sunday found us on the millpond. We had no particular goal in mind other than to spend some time together and enjoy the pond. The day was beautiful, the pond was beautiful, and we were in no hurry. Birds kept us company. We recorded a total of 54 species - everything from brown creepers and green winged teal to bald eagles. (Have I mentioned lately that I love this place?)

But birds weren't our only companions. There were mammals out and about as well. As we were poking around behind an island in the pond, trying to get a closer look at a green-winged teal, I spied something swimming in the water heading for the shoreline of the island. Treebeard eased the canoe around and I got the camera out. It was a mink! (Mustela vison) I see their tracks and scat quite often, but have never gotten a really good look at one in the wild. Once the little fellow got out of the water, he scurried along the shoreline. Mink are high energy critters - he wouldn't stay still. Fifteen pictures later we lost his trail -- the photo above is the only one that came out half-way decent.

13 comments:

Rurality said...

Oh, the jealousy! I'm choking on it! Arrrrrgh.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Wow, I've never seen one stand still long enough for a photo or even a positive ID in most instances.

My name is Stacie. said...

How cool! I've never seen one in real life. Oh, and I am not working on my nature blog anymore. I'm just writing on my homeschool blog. I gave you an award on it.

Anonymous said...

WOW


i'd let her join our redhead club

sq

Jen said...

what a fantastic creature. Much better in the wild than on the people. Great photo!

Melody said...

Never have seen one of these and did not know they were here in NC not too far away from the Outer Banks. Love learning these things from your wonderful blog. I agree with Jen...much better in the wild!

SwampAngel65 said...

Nice shot! They say we have something called an Everglades Mink down where I am, but I've never seen one. Very cool pic!!

swamp4me said...

rurality,
Maybe if you didn't have those bobcat pictures I'd feel bad ;)

OW,
Most of the photos were of little brown blurs. One was an excellent, clear shot of an area of about three inches of glossy fur :)

stacie,
Glad you like the mink - and thanks for the award! Don't give up on your nature posts, just incorporate them into your homeschool blog...

SQMojo,
Red rules! Every time the little beastie came out of the water her hair was sleeked back, then she'd shake and poof! she was almost dry.

jen,
No argument from me - mink fur looks much better on mink.

melody,
Keep your eyes open out there on the Banks -- you've got mink out there, too

SwampAngel,
I'll have to look that up. You Florida folk have some pretty cool wildlife down there.

winterwoman said...

Oh awesome nature adventure! Once at Audubon, we had a mink come right into the backyard and play and play while we watched. All work ceased! There was also a family that lived along Redwing Trail, but I never saw it. Just heard reports from the other naturalists and the interns...

swamp4me said...

winterwoman,
Treebeard once had the opportunity to watch a female mink and her three offspring from about six feet away. The mink mom kept an eye on him while the little ones romped in the pond. Of course, that was pre-digital camera days...

Marvin said...

I was your lucky day -- not that I mean to take anything away from your skills as a naturalist and photographer.

swamp4me said...

Marivn,
Oh yeah, it was definitely my lucky day ;) I was so excited, I about didn't get the shot! My husband's skill with the canoe gave me the opportunity to get a good look at the mink and then an acceptable photo.

Jane said...

Hi. It's my first visit to your site and I LOVE it. I was actually looking for a Halloween Pennant Dragonfly on Google and up popped your blog. I'm staying the Florida Keys at the moment, but normally I'm based in the depths of Dorset, England. My blog is similar to yours. Just love the wildlife shots on your site and your descriptions of "everyday life". The story about the pelican made me laugh out loud! We get minks at home, they are escapees from mink farms and are killing a lot of our native mammals (water voles especially) they also don't get on with our native otters. Anyway great blog and I will be back! Jane