This is a follow up to several earlier observations of Beaver activity in a Carrollton suburban park.
I was driving past the park late one afternoon, just after a heavy downpour, when I spotted a dark figure on the bank of the rain swollen creek. At first, it was not obvious if this dark object was anything more than just a piece of debris washed up on shore. I parked on the street roughly 50yd/46m away, and watched to see if it would move or give any other sign of being the animal I hoped it was. Within just a moment, I witnessed the creature shift its position in a way that was unmistakable, and I quickly snapped a photograph.
At this point, I was very hopeful that I had finally been able to photograph our neighborhood Beaver, but from this distance I could not eliminate the possibility that this animal might be a Nutria. Also, there was still a light raining falling, and a heavy overcast. Clearly, the lighting was less than optimal… I decided to try and get closer for the next shot.
I was able to get much closer to the animal than I first expected to, and I took a number of photos along the way, hoping to get at least a few good shots before he fled. As I approached to around 15ft/5m of the animal I noticed that it appeared to busy gnawing on something. Preoccupied with this activity the Beaver did not give me much, if any, notice. Unfortunately, from where I stood, I still could not make a conclusive identification. The animal’s tail was hidden by the grass and water, and I couldn’t be sure if I was seeing the broad, flat tail of a Beaver, or the round scaly tail of a Nutria. I would have to make an effort to get even closer.
Next I moved to within 8ft/2.4m of the Beaver’s location. At this time I believed the Beaver had become aware of my presence, even though he still seemed unconcerned. But, it turns out that the Beaver’s preoccupation with the piece of wood he was eating, combined with the wet grass and the falling rain had effectively masked the sound of my approach, and he actually had no idea I was there.
After taking a picture from this close distance, I could tell by the LCD preview that the focus was not good, and I voiced my disappointment audibly. Although my complain was whispered, it was still loud enough to startle the Beaver, and make him aware of my proximity. He immediately turned and fled into the creek.