A Muskrat nibbled here and there among the numerous Painted Turtles and American Bullfrogs. In the early morning there were also two Black-crowned Night-Herons near the Green Herons. The numerous Red-winged Blackbirds continued to feed their noisy young and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers flew to and from their nest cavity, presumably feeding hungry nestlings.
It was a quiet morning, with the only real action in the form of an overhead Red-tailed Hawk, being mobbed by the usual Eastern Kingbirds and blackbirds.
The evening however was a different story.
The other day on the bike trail I helped someone identify a mustelid (weasel) from a description of one they had seen crossing the path into the swamp. He said it was all-dark, which means it was an American Mink. In an area like this, mink is also the most likely, being semi-aquatic. Since that day I've been keeping my eyes open for any weaselly activity. It came in the evening when I was surveying the swamp from the bike trail. I heard rustling from the other side, the marsh side, and turned to look. From the edge of the phragmites the head of a mink popped into view. I was directly in the way of its probably hoped-for trajectory into the swamp and so it quickly disappeared again. It wasn't until a few minutes later that the mink got its chance and darted across the bike trail. I saw the movement out of the corner of my eye and turned just in time to get a very good look at it. I had enough time to correct a passing bikers' identification of mongoose, but not enough before he was gone to inform him that mongooses are nonexistent outside of Africa and Eurasia. I guess the American Mink is not as popularized (apart from its fur) as the mongooses and their cobra-killing skills.
After crossing the trail, the mink descended the vegetated bank into the swamp. After the rustling stopped there was a splash and rippling extended into the water. At this point, the Red-winged Blackbirds that had seen the mink on the trail were going mental and swooping down into the swamp. I didn't have the best view but I could occasionally make out the mink swimming with its head just above the water. Generally though, it seemed the mink was fully submerged. As the mink navigated the swamp it soon came across the Green Herons. I couldn't see it, but I could clearly hear the clucking alarm calls as the first heron exploded into the air. Two other invisible herons joined in on the clucking and screaming. The swamp was reverberating with weird noises at this point and several bikers stopped to see what was happening. Muskrats swam back and forth and the mink eventually disappeared from view, like a lithe snake under the water. For the mink, this was obviously a planned hunting excursion. I didn't see it catch anything, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. Anything in the swamp was fair game for the mink as they can take down something as big as a full-grown Canada Goose. The weasel rule is, no matter how big the prey, go for the neck and it will die. Just search google images and you will find terrifying pictures.