Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Raccoon Rescue Report

NOT BLOOD, relax...(strawberry smoothie stuff)
Godspeed, you silly Northern Raccoon Procyon lotor
  Felt wintry today, on a morning that made me glad I had packed along two options for gloves, like a massive nerd. The birdwinds that blew out of the northwest last night brought with them a charming little band of Golden-crowned Kinglets, that surrounded me on a trail like I was a Disney princess. In the same woods, along the north edge of NDN, were several uber-skulky Fox SparrowsAlso fresh in from a’north were butt-loads of Dark-eyed Juncos – absolute arse-loads, I tells ya.
  On Pine Hill Side, as I was heading back towards home, I was brought back twice by some odd skittering and trilling sounds I couldn’t place - had me scratching my head and looking up towards the empty trees. I was about to leave for good when I happened to look into a barrel to check if there were any mosquito larvae left. I was startled to look into a pair of sad eyes, set in the soaked furball that was a Northern Raccoon. Disturbingly, it seemed to be sitting in a half-foot of bloody water, with bloody paw prints staining the sides of the barrel just short of the rim. I gave the hapless critter a visual once-over, looking for obvious wounds, but after a minute I realized that the barrel wasn’t painted in gore, but rather delicious strawberry flavouring of some kind. There was a raft of Tim Horton’s flotsam in the barrel, including several plastic smoothie cups – I’m guessing that’s what lured the masked scavenger into its predicament.
  I slowly spilled the barrel over, and the sodden raccoon at my feet looked up at me with the most ‘human’ of looks I’ve seen from an animal in some time - him all same man (read Dersu!). After sitting in a daze for a few seconds, it shuffled off, looking decidedly cold and sluggish, but otherwise okay.

Mount-Royal Cemetery, (Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery), October 17, 2017
Peregrine Falcon-(1 at UdeM)
Ring-billed Gull-(3)
Downy Woodpecker-3 (1)
Hairy Woodpecker-1
American Crow-20+ (5)
Common Raven-(2)
Black-capped Chickadee-18+ (5+)
White-breasted Nuthatch-4 (1)
Red-breasted Nuthatch-2
Winter Wren-4 (1)
Golden-crowned Kinglet-4 (15+ in the woods on NDN’s north edge)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-25+ (4)
Hermit Thrush-5 (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler-(1 near Decelles, hanging with the ‘dees)
Northern Cardinal-3 (1)
Chipping Sparrow-30+ (5+)
Fox Sparrow-6 in the woods just north of Mountain View, (3 in the NDN north woods)
White-throated Sparrow-30+ (4)
Dark-eyed Junco- 275+,with decent-sized flocks in most woods and forest edges - a single flock of 155+ seen at Mountain View, another with 100+ birds on Pine Hill Side, and groups of 12+ scattered, (20+)

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