East Coast updates

Trustom Pond NWR (RI): This was an awesome place. Jon Hall’s report on the abundant and diverse small mammals there still holds very true; I visited about a month ago (sorry for the late report). Around the feeders at the visitor center, Red and Eastern Gray Squirrels and Eastern Chipmunks were abundant; there was also an Eastern Cottontail in the evening. I then spent a few hours working the Osprey Point and Red Maple Swamp Trails; I saw 1 Southern Red-backed Vole (on the Red Maple Swamp Trail), 5-6 Southern Bog Lemmings (mostly at the end of the Osprey Point trail; tough to get good views of), a great look at a Woodland Vole (in the forest on the Osprey Point trail), a Meadow Jumping Mouse (near the start of the Osprey Point trail), and 2 New England Cottontails (near the end of the Osprey Point trail; ID’d by black forehead spot and small blackish ears). I also heard what I guess were Meadow Voles scurrying around in the grass on the Farm Field loop (didn’t see them though) and saw 2 White-tailed Deer here as well. No shrews for me.

Albany area (NY): I spent a little while near the Albany Pine Bush Preserve after meeting up with a relative in Albany. The highlight was the abundance of Woodchucks in the area–I got some very good views of these guys, which I’ve only seen a few times before. The lowlight was a brief look at a dark, medium-size animal running into some brush that may well have been a Fisher. Also saw some White-tailed Deer and Eastern Gray Squirrels nearby too and roadkill Eastern Coyote.



  • Samuel

    Thanks for this feedback Venkat. After reading the same report from Jon, I actually when to the Trustom Pond NWR this week end (on July 16) while on a business trip in New England. I was able to spend about 4 hours there between 4 and 8pm and saw the following:
    – like you, Red and Eastern Gray Squirrels and Eastern Chipmunks around the feeders at the visitor center
    – chipmunks were also all over the place in the park
    – there were Eastern and New England cottontails litteraly everywhere in park that day! I saw tenth of them. I think I indeed saw both species given the description you give in your report.
    – I didn’t see any White-tailed Deer
    – regarding small mammals, I don’t know whether this is because I didn’t pay attention enough or because of the season but I didn’t see so many numbers as what Jon and yourself mention in your reports. In the same areas close to Osprey and Otter points, I only saw 6 different individuals and could take pictures of 3 of them. These little guys are moving all the time!! I’m definitely not an expert in rodents and to me, they all looked the same. I will send pictures to Jon to get his confirmation on which specie(s) I may have seen.
    Besides mammals, this small park is also very rich for birding and I could see many new birds that we don’t see in Europe where I live. There were also 2 ospreys nesting there.
    As for reptiles, I could see frogs of unknown species, bull frogs and 1 giant snapping turtle.
    All in all, I found this small reserve to be very interesting to visit with lots of wildlife. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in bird and mammal watching. Thanks Jon to made us discover this place.
    Now, I’m going to California this week and hope to see many more new mammals thanks to your recommendation by the way about Panoche Valley Venkat.


  • Jon Hall

    Nice work Venkat. I saw what may well have been a Woodland Vole but didn’t get a prolonged enough view to be sure.

    Samuel – great. Why not post your pictures here? I agree many small mammals are difficult things to ID without a very good look and a photo unless you are familiar with the species.

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