Coyote Track - Photo by Ron Payne 1/22/10

Winter can be a trying time for birders, especially in a year like this one when interesting irruptive species  have been in short supply. But the consistent snow cover we have had until lately can provide us with another form or wildlife entertainment, that being trying to identify all the animal tracks that suddenly become obvious in these conditions. My personal recent observations include a set of Bobcat tracks on January 14, in Wright Park,  part of the Trail Around Middlebury. The large number of rabbit tracks in the park made it clear why one of these secretive cats would decided to take up residence  there.

Otter View Park in Middlebury has also proved a good tracking spot showing quite a lot of Fox activity.  I also found a very clear Otter slide with tracks nearby proving the park is aptly named. But perhaps most surprising find was a sighting in the same area of a Coyote in broad daylight, the tracks of which you can see in the picture above.

If you are interested in learning more about tracking, be sure to join us and the Middlebury Area Land Trust for our next monthly Marsh, Meadow and Grassland Wildlife Walk where we will be joined by tracking expert Alcott Smith. Meet at the Otter View Park parking lot Saturday, February 13 at 8:00 AM.

– Ron Payne