March 13, 2013

Central Washington Field Trip

We just returned from a great field trip in central Washington with our Wilderness Certification Program.  Here is some of what we saw:

This is a very unusual pile of beaver scat.  Normally I find individual beaver scats floating in the water but this appears to be a latrine.  

We found a very freshly killed Great-basin pocket mouse.  As trackers, we always seize these opportunities to study the foot structure and anatomy of these animals.  

Here is some porcupine feeding sign on small willows.

These dots are a "highway" made by the repeated use of pocket gophers from their burrow to a feeding site.

This is a porcupine scat train.  Some people call this a "pearl necklace".

Here is a running pheasant.  Pheasants do not occur here naturally but are released for hunting.

A happy Cohort 1 from the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program.   

AWCP student, Ethan finds a perch on the rock cliffs.

On our final day we did a "mock evaluation".  At the base of these cliffs we found very fresh tracks of a male bobcat.  We saw a lot of kangaroo rat sign, Mallard feathers and breast bone, a raven nest and more.  The students did very well! 

Another fun and educational trip in beautiful central Washington.  I hope everybody has a great spring break and finds some sunshine!  

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