We’ve had another couple of new sightings on the Indian River near Warsaw, which could best be described as one-offs for us.

On April 15, I surprised a River Otter beneath our dock at about 6 pm. Initially it popped up to have a look at me, then disappeared below the dock again. I tried talking to it for a while, camera in hand, hoping it would come out and say hello, but the otter just kept up a continuous stream of grunting snorts, seemingly annoyed that I had disturbed it. I thought it might swim off, but it was obviously determined to stay. I changed tack and remained quiet. After about a half hour – my hands were getting very cold by this time – it peeked out to see if I had gone. I managed to get a picture, then left the animal in peace. The next evening it was back again, this time on land in the void space underneath the adjacent deck, not a sighting just a “hearing” as we listened to it snorting grumpily at our presence above! As far as we know it hasn’t returned, probably having decided there was too much unwanted activity around.

On April 29th, again at about 6 pm, we heard a group of crows jabbering away some distance up river. The object of their displeasure was a Bald Eagle. We thought they were heading our way, but the eagle swung eastwards and landed on a tall cedar. Several crows took up guard duties in nearby trees while a couple of others were taking more direct action, dive-bombing the unwanted visitor. The eagle held its ground for maybe 5 minutes before it finally threw in the towel and flew away eastwards again, under escort. Peter took several pictures. Before this episode we had already seen two Belted Kingfishers, a pair of Hooded Mergansers and Common Mergansers, a Muskrat, a Song Sparrow, two basking Painted Turtles and an Osprey. Not bad for an hour’s river watching!

A pair of Buffleheads were still around on April 23rd, and yesterday, on May 4th, we saw our first male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. I wondered if it was just passing through, but I saw a male again this evening at the feeders, so maybe this is our boy, in which case the female won’t be too far behind.

Stephenie Armstrong

River Otter - Stephenie Armstrong

River Otter – Stephenie Armstrong

BAEA and crows - Peter  Armstrong

BAEA and crows – Peter Armstrong

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Karl Egressy

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – Karl Egressy

Categories: Sightings

Drew Monkman

I am a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a love for all aspects of the natural world, especially as they relate to seasonal change.