Over to Whitemud Creek for a walk today. Heard rumours of a dead muskrat. It’s not my habit to seek out expired animals but as I have never seen a muskrat, I figured it was worth a trip. Muskrats look almost exactly like beavers but they are smaller, and instead of a paddle, they have a long rat-like tail. And infamous romantic practices. Took a guide (my niece) and my favourite doggie (Maggie) and off we went, but no muskrat. Magpies? Coyotes? A female beaver, jealous of the muskrats’ slimmer tail? Who knows…nature is quick and efficient in matters of disposal.
However, all was not lost. The pond near the power-line was full of Red-winged Blackbirds flying in and out of the reeds. Their distinctive song was quite a lovely thing to hear. Don’t usually see these birds inside city limits, and never in such quantity. Usually it’s just one, on a fence-post. Also, a single goose paddling in the water, and several ducks. Ruddy ducks, I think, with blue beaks. It seems odd that the blue beak didn’t trump the reddish feathers when it came to naming the duck. But what do I know about duck nomenclature?