Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Other End of the Creek

Out the back porch from our lodge is a little seasonal creek that flows off and on for a few months of the year after heavy rains and snowmelts. Because the flow is more off than on, we use pumps to recirculate the water in a short loop behind the house, keeping it green, clean, mosie-free, and pleasant sounding year-round.

As previously reported in Guess Who's Coming to Water, the local wildlife seems to like our terraforming, and often come to drink or cross at the south end of the 100-foot micro-creek, where a big flat granite rock makes a nice bridge:

upper pond and falls
Back porch view towards south end of mini-creek - big flat rock slightly hidden by cattails

Well, to bookend the above survey, I thought I'd try a camera trap at the north end, just beyond a wooden bridge that we use to cross, and under a dense canopy of oaks (and a buckeye) that nearly touch the bank here and there along the rocky course:

upper creek and bridge
Back porch view towards north end of mini-creek (which is just beyond the bridge)

Camera POV: looking down into the creek from a tree branch on the east bank. House is up to the left on the other side of the creek. Camera is my fast Reconyx.

Results: 87 camera triggers in 20 days shows it's a frequented place. 68 triggers in the day time and 19 at night. Many of the days were quite hot, so water and shade would have been popular, but overall daytime animal activity lower as well. None-the-less, 9 species (7 mammals & 2 birds) in just 20 days is a nice haul for a trap so close to the house.

Here's the camera trapper's version of "showing the best pelts":

Deer dominated the day, as usual. The local does and fawns like hanging out down there, so I got lots of pics of them - night, and day, and day, and day, and night, and day, and...

Doe mule deer tip-toeing through at 8:45pm

Mom and 2 fawns crossing in the morning

So nothing new there. Just the Regulars. No buck deer though - maybe they don't like the low branches, or were elsewhere.

Wild turkeys also came through. Like the deer, they tend to be frequent visitors:

Wild turkeys foraging creek for small crawlies (hard to see in dapples)

Night foragers seem to like that area too - raccoons, an opossum, and a striped skunk all snuffled about. No doubt hunting for frogs and fishies and bugs and slugs.

Here's the local raccoon family:

Mom raccoon calling kids to "come along"

Raccoon family foraging in creek

Momma raccoon may have lost a kid. I'm only seeing 3 in these pics and before she's had 4.

Pepe came through one night and squared off with the camera:

Striped Skunk staring down the camera

And a strange black opossum showed as well. At least I think it is - it's awful big to be a rat:

black opossum
Black possum?

That crafty feral black cat hunted through a few times:

black cat
Black domestic cat on the rocks

But was way outclassed by the bobcat visit (no doubt hunting for the things that hunt for frogs and fishies and bugs and slugs):

Bobcat on the rocks - looks like a small one

Bobcat heading up the bank

Other than that there were a few scrub jays and a gray squirrel chasing acorns.

Here's the breakdown:

87 camera events over 20 days (68 day, 19 night):
Misses (no visible animal)
Mule Deer
Wild Turkey
Western Scrub Jay
Domestic Cat
Striped Skunk
Western Gray Squirrel

Not a bad range of visitors in 20 days. I'll have to do the survey again to see if there's any differences over time between the critters that visit the canopied oak end, and the ones that prefer the open-air flat rock end. I wouldn't want to miss anything!



Nature of a Man (this blog) - Guess Who's Coming to Water



  1. Nice! With only two blank images, you've got a good success rate too.

  2. Thanks Codger. Not anything new or any wow pics, but a nice little survey.

    Sans hot flashes, the Reconyx is almost too fast to miss anything. The 2 misses it did have were probably birds buzzing through.


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