Easter Sunday dawned bright and sunny, and I found it terribly amusing that the first mammal I saw (other than the usual squirrels sitting on my back deck waiting for me to feed them) was an Eastern Cottontail rabbit near the storm water management ponds in my subdivision. This is the first rabbit I’ve seen since early January when one spent a couple of weeks hanging around my street, so I got out of the car to take a few pictures. As it was Easter Sunday, I was briefly tempted to go up to him to see if he’d laid any Cadbury chocolate Easter eggs; then I decided that to do so would seriously damage any credibility I may have gained as an amateur naturalist!
After lunch I went back out to look for butterflies. It was still warm and sunny, and I started my trek with a quick stop at the Richmond Lagoons to look for waterfowl. There wasn’t much around; I saw very few ducks and perhaps three Tree Swallows gliding through the air, searching for bugs. Although I did manage to photograph one of the swallows perching in the tree near the Purple Martin house, the only really noteworthy sighting was that of a muskrat swimming in the middle cell.
Instead of stopping by the Moodie Drive quarry ponds, I decided to check up on the Osprey nest along the Jock River. There I found the female sitting in the nest atop the tall platform overlooking the water. The male, who spends most of his time hunting for fish rather than incubating the eggs, was sitting in a tall tree on the opposite side of the river in a perfect spot to take some photographs. While watching the Osprey, I noticed another muskrat swimming along the river and my second mink of the day running along the opposite bank!