My recent NettieBay Lodge Expeditions in northern Michigan's Presque Isle County were mostly about birds, and we did well - 153 species in a week. We also learned a lot about plants, and I wouldn't even try to tot up that total list. In short, we look at anything and everything, but always prioritizing the birds. After all, a bird can fly off so it's always best to immediately avail one's self of a viewing opportunity before the bird in question decides to bail.
Another group that we did well with was mammals. I already blogged about the porcupines and their dens, but that prickly rodent was only one of seventeen mammal species that we observed. Followng are a few of the ones that I managed to turn into pixels.
Anyway, I tossed the car to the roadside and ran towards the animal in the hopes of working my way closer. It didn't take but a few lopes in the beast's direction before I saw what it truly was. Oh well, it allowed me fairly close and I ws able to make a few photos. Skunks are actually fine-looking animals if one can get over their reputation.
HERE'S a piece I wrote a while back about chipmunks and the sounds that they produce.
A genetic trait causes the dark coloration, and litters of squirrels can have both gray and black individuals. Black squirrels have long been known from scattererd locales in Ohio, but they appear to be becoming more frequent.
I love watching flying squirrels, and am delighted that the lodge setup is attracting them. These feeders are full of great birds during the day, and now at night we can watch these tiny squirrels. I don't know if you've ever seen one of these, but flyers are about the fastest arboreal mammals you'll ever want to see. They'd make Spiderman look like the clumsiest of oafs. It's as if they've got velcro for footpads, and an excited squirrel will roar up, down, and around the trees at astonishing speeds, occasionally launching into space and gliding to another tree. Quite a show.
We're doing two more of these forays at NettieBay in late May of next year, and attendees will get to see many of these mammals in addition to scores of birds, plants, and other interesting things not to mention beautiful landscapes at every turn. If you are interested, contact Jackie at NettieBay HERE. We keep the groups to ten people each, and I believe they're already over half full so let her know soon if you can make it.