Birds

Not Stuck In The Mud…But Almost!

Cottage

We got to make an unexpected visit to the cottage yesterday. We had left our guest air mattress at the cottage and our son wanted to borrow it, so as we were heading almost right past the cottage to visit him we stopped off to pick it up. It was interesting to see that this was just a few days after our winter visit last year, but this year all the snow had gone and as we expected the land was waterlogged.

We debated parking and walking in because the field was so wet, but decided to chance it and drive across, putting our 4-wheel drive to the test. We could hear the ground squelching under us as we drove across the field, but didn’t dare stop for fear of sinking into the mud. We were committed now and had to keep going. It was a little late to be reflecting that perhaps this wasn’t such a good idea. Our neighbour’s truck was not home, so getting towed out today might be a bit of a problem!

We had no option but to head out the same way. The track behind the cottage was a marsh and totally under water. As we got to the field we were a little shocked to see the depth of our tracks from driving in and how much the car had sunk into the mud. We took a deep breath and hit the gas pedal. This time the car was slithering as we tried to avoid the ruts we made on our way in and the ditch on either side. It seemed like we held our breath all the way across the field and had a huge sigh of relief when we finally reached the other side. We would have been well and truly stuck in the mud in our old car!

It looks like those persistent mice have found their way in again. We found a large dead mouse in the trap. It had not begun to decompose, but we were not sure if it was because it was recent or if it was just so cold that the cottage is a fridge right now. It was 3° C in the cottage, so I guess it could have been there for some time. We could see that the wire wool, which we had put behind the wood across the bottom of the back door, had moved.   I guess that is where they are still coming in. I think we need to put in a longer piece of wood in on another visit. The other traps were empty, so it seems like this was a lone visitor.

We didn’t spend long at the cottage because it rained the whole time we were there. Actually, it was the only time it rained all day, which was rather bad timing. I was just thinking how it was probably the first time we had been to the cottage and the only sign of wildlife I saw was a dead mouse. However, on our way out we got to see the wild turkeys.

Wild turkeys 1

There were actually nine of them together. At this time of the year they tend to still be flocked together in winter areas and it is also the time of courtship for wild turkeys. The wild turkey on the far left seemed much larger than the others, so I wondered if he was a male.

Wild Turkeys 2.jpg

He didn’t have much of a red head, but the colour of the head can change with the turkey’s mood and you can see his bald head and red wattle. In a calm state they remain grey or blue, but turn red when they are angry or during courtship. I guess the wet weather was putting a damper on their mood!

We also got to see a Ruffed Grouse on our way out.

Ruffed Grouse

In the past when I have seen them they have run to the undergrowth for cover, but this one took his time heading off into the woods. Years ago we did see one on a trail displaying, which was quite thrilling. I will certainly have to listen out for them drumming on logs and perhaps I will get to see them displaying again one day.

 

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