An American Mink

With Monday looking like the best day of the week and innumerable chores facing me the rest of the week, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and head out to Nisqually Monday.

Wanting to get better pictures of the Great Horned Owl than I was able to get before, I took my monopod with the new swiveling head, and, with the cooperation of the sunshine, I was able to get the best pictures of the owl I’ve gotten so far:

Unfortunately, using the monopod also meant missing the best picture yet of an Otter because when one crossed the trail in front of me, I wasn’t able to get the camera set up before it disappeared, another lesson in the inevitable tradeoffs that life seems to demand. Despite our best efforts, we can’t seem to have everything, can we?

As if I hadn’t already learned that lesson, birding turned out to be rather routine, with nary a new species in sight, though the highlight of the day was capturing this shot of what I was told was an American Mink crossing the trail:

Amazingly, he came much closer than this, but he came so close that I couldn’t focus my 400mm telephoto lens and ended up with a blur of brown as he ran down the bank next to us.

After seeing this animal, I’m sure that the earlier animal I though might be long-tailed weasel wasn’t a mink, as a fellow traveler suggested, since this animal was two to three times bigger than the one I captured a shot of before.