We’re enjoying a snowday from home today. Snow on the beach is such a rarity on the Oregon Coast and I got to kinda see it once…at midnight…from a distance…lit by my camera flash…see here: Snow on Tillicum Beach
Today I’m enjoying it from up the Alsea River.
We had plans for going to Newport to volunteer at the Family History Center and then do our weekly grocery shopping. But caution prevails today.
Some don’t mind travelling on snow days but the duck route isn’t any different than any other day on the river.
Most of the snow fell before the tide started going out this morning.
Salmonberries first gathered weeds from the high river last month and now snow.
We had a report of a bear that chased some feral chickens in a nearby yard. He was not deterred by the home-owners attempts to scare him away. A bear that is not afraid of humans can be dangerous. Fortunately, no human or property was hurt and the feral chicken issue is diminishing.
I enjoy wildlife from a distance – from the safety of my home. We do not leave out garbage cans but they do like the natural food source along the Alsea River on the Oregon Coast.
The fog was so thick this morning that I could hardly see across the Alsea River near the Oregon Coast. Then I heard an elk call from a calf. They sound like a weaker version of the adult cow. So I looked and saw one or two elk making their way across the field making calls to each other like a sonar tracking system. Then the rest of the herd appeared as the fog lightened a little.
I saw 2 groups of Mallard ducks across the river. They stopped to look at something on the riverbank of the Alsea River. I saw a very small mink running along the bank so I started recording. Mama-Mallard kept her 5 babies safe again!
If you watch where the duck is looking you’ll see movement under the brush. That’s the mink. He dives in after them and Mama scatters her ducklings. This is a larger mink than I saw at first so I’m wondering about a mink family living nearby??? How cool is THAT!
Last week I was nervous about seeing these two nutria being so friendly on the river bank. Mind you, nutria have never done anything personally against me. But I know they can cause erosion problems and we don’t need any of that on the Alsea River!
So, when I saw THIS today I was REALLY disappointed.
Nutria were brought here from southern South America to control unwanted aquatic vegetation. Their average lifespan is 3 years in the wild. A female can get pregnant as early as 3 months and can have almost 3 litters per year. Predators of adult nutria include coyotes, domestic dogs, and humans. Great horned owls, foxes, great blue herons, hawks, eagles, and raccoons prey on the young.