[Tweeters] Ducks annoyed by Mink at Bob Heirman Park

Rob Sandelin nwnature1 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 25 17:03:32 PDT 2012

There is a place upriver at Bob Heirman park that few people that aren't
beavers go. There is a couple of backwaters often with interesting stuff. I
have regularly snuck up on nesting ducks there, so quiet as a mouse I crept
over the dike and into the muddy flats, and promptly fell over making a
rather loud splash. Quiet as a small elephant I guess. A stealthy approach
now blown I stood up and walked over to where I could see the water, keeping
some logs in the sight line between me and the water. I got to the logs and
used them as a blind to watch the mallards. They were all neatly paired up
and very uniformly distributed along the length of the pond, but I could
see no nesting activity yet. Then at the far end of the little pond those
ducks few up with alarm and it was like dominos as the ducks which were
spread along the pond took to the air, one pair at a time. The cause of
their disturbance was moving along the shore, but from my vantage point I
couldn't see so giving up all cover entirley I slowly stood up. A pair of
very amorous mink were sort of running over each other. One would overtake
the one in front and sort of leap frog it, then the other would do this. At
one point they stopped and wrestled (well at least that what it looked like
to me), then continued on their leap frogging way quite close then gone
under the log jams. The ducks which had flown off and circled around the
river started to return, two by two, mostly back into the very same places
and relationship to each other they were in when they left. I turned to go,
and I had been so focused on what was in front of me, I missed the great
blue heron which must have flown in behind me. We did not see each other
until I suddenly hopped over the log and both of us gave a squawk, although
only the heron pooped.

Rob Sandelin

Naturalist, Writer, Teacher


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