Friday, April 2, 2010

More Big Rodents

Wet Muskrat:
This morning I ended up waking early and took a trip to EPCAL for birds and hopefully a shot at some skunks or other mammals that may be hanging around.  Along River Rd., next to the entrance of the golf course I spotted a muskrat along the banks of the very swollen Peconic River - it quickly slipped into the water and I was able to get 1 decent shot before it dove under and slipped into a culvert to head east down the river.

Just when I was ready to leave EPCAL after a less than great outing I spotted something brown in the median and when I pulled up I saw it was a Groundhog (aka woodchuck) who had just emerged from his/her den.  The groundhog had quite a bit of patience and showed off nicely for me which was a good change from past experiences with this species.  The Groundhog is most often seen on Long Island on the side of highways where there is plentiful food (grasses) and they prefer edge habitat (where woods meet grasses).  Suffice to say, photographing a groundhog on the side of the LIE is not an ideal situation, so to find one along the runway was a good surprise.  I stumbled upon another den on the other side of the runway which is likely that of another groundhog - but could be that of a red fox which I'm sure utilize the site as it appears to be plentiful in food and acreage.

There certainly is a resemblance to the Muskrat in my previous post with this over-sized teeth:

Chomping away:

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