Two new (to me) species in one walk

Updated: Feb 7, 2020

I’m not sure what happened this morning, but neither my eyes nor my brain could focus on the words on my laptop screen. It felt like I was wasting time as nothing was going in, so I went home. In Sophie style, I went for a walk along the creek in the hope that it would fix everything – it did, and here I am again looking at words on the screen (and later I’ll probably finish the work I didn't do).

Today, I walked along the creek in a direction I hadn’t been before and I saw lots of wildlife, including two new (to me) species! It was totally worth freezing my hands, which I’m currently thawing out with a coffee.

The first animal I saw was a muskrat! My first ever! Imagine a guinea-pig-sized beaver with a thin tail, that’s a muskrat. I heard it before I saw it. I was watching a paddling of ducks (a very apt collective noun) when I heard a “plop” that sounded more like trifle being served at Christmas. Curious as to what made the sound, I looked around the pond until my eyes settled on a suspiciously shaped log, that on closer inspection was breathing. After a brief stare-off, it swam a lap around the partially frozen pond before disappearing beneath the surface like a second helping of trifle. I took a little video and carried on my walk, pretty happy with myself.

Further along the trail, I saw my second new (to me) species perched on a log in the river. Two American dippers. To look at, they are kind of dark greyish brown, boring-looking, smaller-than-blackbird-but-bigger-than-a-robin-sized birds; but, they bob their whole bodies up and down, so I think actually they're quite cool.

I really appreciated time away from the computer and the office to enjoy a nice winter's day, but now back to work.

A photo by my favourite human from a different river (© James Fleming)

P.S. I also met some new (to me) dogs - a beagle, a cocker spaniel, a border collie, and a rottweiler.

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Photo Disclaimer: All photographs are property of Sophie May Watts or James Fleming unless otherwise stated.

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