A few weeks ago we were at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park and we saw a lot of Beaver activity by the water areas along the trail through the woods. We were there for a walk so I only had a m43 camera with a 14-140mm zoom, which with it’s small sensor has a field of view sort of equivalent to 28-280mm on a full frame camera. There are a lot of fallen trees so we could see they have been very busy. But as were were looking at what we thought was a Beaver Lodge, a beaver actually ran along a fallen tree and submerged to go inside the Lodge. It was fun to watch, but Beavers are mostly busy at night. It was a distant shot so it was not great, but I still documented it. We went back, but during the day they are usually not active, so I was shooting a series of the 2 Lodges we could see and the surrounding landscape. Around the bend we thought we spotted a few more Lodges but could not get clear shots of them. Another Park we enjoy walking in, Plainsboro Preserve & Audobon Facility, has even more Beaver Activity / Damage. But it is hard to get close to the water, and along the trails you see more trees chewed down. So there is even more Beaver activity there.
I enjoyed poring over these shots, Reed. Loved seeing the turtles, the one on the left is huge, must be an ancient one. It looks like Lodge 2 may be abandoned? It looks a bit collapsed. And lastly, I think that is an otter running along the log, not a beaver. Aside from wrong time of day as you mentioned, beavers have webbed rear feet and aren’t agile out of water, like this one appears to be. I never tire of observing nature, esp. through your blog!
Thanks Eliza! Could be an otter, but in a less sharp shot the tail was much wider. But not sure. Also it went under the water towards the lodge. But maybe it just swam by. Lodge 2 might be abandoned but there are so many fallen trees I assume it is not. There are downed trees all over this small water area. Plus other lodges that are farther back in that area but can not get clear shots of them. Thanks for ID’ing the mammal as an Otter. I was not thinking of them, since they were not common at this park.
Since a change in the trapping laws here in the mid-90s, there has been a rebound in the aquatic mammal populations, i.e., beaver, otter and mink. They’re seen frequently in our stream and river; my favorite is the otter slides in the snow in winter, such a playful animal!
These are wonderful shots, Reed. My first thought on seeing the animal in the photo was that it was probably an otter. I recently watched otters at the zoo for an extended period of time and that shape looks otter-like to me. Otters will sometimes hang around beaver lodges because, according to what I have been told, they will sometimes eat beaver babies. Yikes!
Yes! I agree, but did not have time to remove it or edit it. It was just strange because they usually did not have Otters here. It also went into the water and dove heading towards the Lodge. Thanks again!
Nicely documented! Beautiful shots of their habitat.
Thanks Belinda! It is an interesting park to photograph!
Fascinating shots, Reed! I learned a lot about beavers 20+ years ago when we owned several acres in Delaware that was bordered in the back by a creek. One year beavers began falling all our trees on the back of our property and built a dam over the stream creating a water depth of five feet! We had to wrap all our remaining trees with chicken wire to stop the fallings which worked thankfully. Weeks later hubby was cutting grass with his Kubota tractor along the back in that area and fell, tractor and all, into one of their underwater-entry dry dens. Got the tractor out. We then called in a state game warden, they trapped and relocated the beavers to farmers on wait-list who needed them to help control water for land irrigation. We then were authorized to destroy the dam to allow the creek to go back to normal/safer depth. So they were destructive for us (we lost over three dozen trees!) but also resourceful too for others. 🙂 Sorry for that long story! lol
Wow! You really know about beavers from all your experiences! I would hate to have to go through what you guys did! I was annoyed when a woodchuck made a den under one of our sheds by the pool. Which seems like nothing now. Beavers do seem very destructive. The other park close by also has a lot more.beavers. It is bigger and a little under 1,000 acres. But along the paths all you see is downed trees. Sometimes it is hard to go for a walk there.