For this club meeting, we had 6 experienced station guides. Our favorite spot to hold tracking club was closed for conservation upgrades to the riverbanks, so we headed under bridge we knew often harbored a wide variety of species.
We were rewarded with nearly 15 potential stations including bobcat, mink, muskrat, bat, coyote, otter, beaver, and even a hummingbird nest. We also saw track or sign for at least three larger birds including an owl. A beaver had chewed a branch off at a height near our heads, and two animals had left scat in the same exact location. It was an outstanding day, despite the fact that I fell in the river. I did an unexpected otter slide while exploring tracks on an upended tree some little ways off shore. We decided not to use that spot as a station.
We had a great time talking out the various mysteries with the participants, and Chris Byrd shared no fewer than 5 new vocabulary words for describing dentition on the tiny vole mandible we picked out of an owl pellet.
Dates for future Tracking Clubs and other information can be found on the WAS website under Wildlife Tracking Courses. I’ve also put them here for easy access:
Dates for 2011-2012 - Saturdays - Sept 17, Oct 15, Nov 19, Jan 21, Feb 18, March 17, April 21, May 19. We meet at the WAS office at 8:45 am. See you there in October for a fun boost to your dirt time.