January 12, 2022

Late yesterday afternoon my better half and I counted thirteen Hooded Mergansers in the Bear Creek Greenbelt.  One was in the pond that never freezes (along with dozens of Mallards, a pair of Gadwalls, and a Common Goldeneye), six were in Bear Creek just west of the footbridge midway between Estes and Kipling St. (along with a couple of dozen Mallards), and six were in the new pond by the park bench beaver dam.  They shared the area with at least one muskrat:

Muskrat

We didn’t stay long enough to spot any beavers.  Slowly but surely, the beavers are turning the area into a Major Attraction for wildlife . . . diving ducks, muskrats, a Great Blue Heron.