We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
No man loves marshes and bogs more than I do. The variety of life they contain, protect, and support, from protozoans to minnowsto bass to amphibians to snakes to deer to woodpeckers to geese and ducks to eagles to bears is astonishing, and feels primeval.
Except for river-fed or run-off-fed marshes, though, most sizeable fresh-water marshes are ephemeral geographical features. In the northern US, most are the remnants of post-glacial ponds and lakes, gradually filled in with plant detritus and, just before they become the damp meadows that the Moose enjoy so much, the sphagnum bogs which, in Canada, are the source of most of our soil-enhancing peat moss.
The only sources of new marshes in the US are man (who is more inclined to fill them for building lots than to create them or rehabilitate them - except for Ducks Unlimited), and the Beaver:
And that is one reason we appreciate the remarkable beaver so much. He not only creates marshes, but he recycles them. I doubt that there is a single beaver marsh in the US which has not been used, on and off (until they have eaten or cut down everything they can find) over the several thousands of years since our last Ice Age buried Manhattan under a mile of ice.
Here are some of the critters I see (or hear) most often in the immediate vicinity of our small (8 acre) beaver marsh in western MA over the past few years - off the top of my head and probably omitting some:
Beavers (of course) Otter Black Bear Raccoon White-tailed Deer Red Fox Coyote (alas)
Wood Duck (nesting) Black Duck (nesting) Mallard (nesting) Canada Goose (nesting) Pileated Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Red-bellied Wodpecker Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Veery Wood thrush E. Phoebe Wood Pewee Great Blue Heron Green Heron Tree Swallow Barn Swallow Kingfisher Swamp Sparrow Grasshopper Sparrow Song Sparrow Barred Owl Screech Owl Great Horned Owl Baltimore Oriole (Northern Oriole) Marsh Wren Turkey Goldfinch (nesting) Warblers of all sorts (during migration) Turkey Vulture Red-Tailed Hawk Sharp-Shinned hawk Red-shouldered Hawk Broad-winged Hawk Sparrow Hawk (Kestrel) E. Bluebird E. Kingbird Ruffed Grouse Cedar Waxwing Catbird
Wood Turtle Eastern Painted Turtle Snapping Turtle Garter Snake Eastern Water Snake Black Snake
Bullfrog Eastern Newt (and their Red Efts by the trillions in the adjacent woods) Leopard Frog Green Frog American Toad Wood Frog Spring Peeper E. Gray Tree Frog
I like to keep track of our wildlife. It is one way of loving and embracing this world.
Cedar Waxwing, one of my favorites, haven't seen any around here for awhile. They used to always come in the winter, in flocks. Send some this way, will you. Saw some Trumpeter Swans on a little lake called Tolo Lake in Idaho recently. Really beautiful.
Used to have the rare sighting of Cedar Waxwings in southwest Washington. What a beautiful bird. I always felt special after the privilege of viewing one. A flock might have been overwhelming. Lucky you.
We haven't seen any Cedar Waxwings here in Central Texas either for about 3 years. Flocks of them would come and decimate the last of the pyracantha berries in the spring. Once a male hit a window and died, it gave us an opportunity to look at his plumage up close and he was gorgeous. Now we have flocks of sweet Lesser Goldfinch-2 types, and my husband is spending a fortune on thistle seed.
I have never really been close to a marsh, what do you do when you see a bear Bird Dog? I think I would be very afraid. I am from England where we are used to non-dangerous wildlife!
I saw an animal here in SW New England that's not on BD's list for the first time in my life. I approached in my pick up along a straightaway some very small predator working a small raod kill in the opposite lane. As I neared, a weasel scampered across my lane. Wow, it was the size of a mouse but it was stretch limo style to about 9 inches long.