Oyster Cove Critters

The Oyster Cove community where I live is situated on a narrow peninsula surrounded by water, allowing us to experience birds galore which I enjoy sharing with you.  As I meander around the community, I’ve been photographing some of the critters that we also have amongst us.  Of course, we have the typical rabbits.   I’ve yet to photograph one, I never have my camera with me when I see one.  I had a neighbor tell me about a single deer that had gotten ‘trapped’ in our community and eventually jumped into the water and swam to shore on the other side.  He made it okay she said!  But about a week ago another neighbor said they had sighted a fox our vicinity.  I’ve been looking for the fox in the early morning when I ‘loop’ before leaving for work, but haven’t sighted him.  Hopefully, he has moved on to somewhere else, we really don’t want him around our other critters and birds!

First I’ll share Mr. Squirrel enjoying his breakfast.

Squirrel

We do have a few feral cats on the property.  Our management doesn’t do anything about them, and we have some neighbors that feed them.  So of course they are happy and have no reason to leave.  They are very skittish so it’s almost impossible to get close to one; and 95% of the time, they stay hidden out of sight.  I happen to catch this one out & about early one morning.  He heard my camera shutter, looked up, and was gone!  (UPDATE – His name is Lucky, he’s lived 10 years at OC, and he is neutered!)

“Lucky” a feral cat ‘resident’ of OC for 10 years!  (thanks Lucy for info!)

A few weeks ago I had spotted an otter alongside our property by the tennis courts from the highway but would miss him by the time I cruised into the community and over there.   With him enticing me and the weather being quite nice early in the mornings, when cruising my loop before work, I’ve been getting out of the car and walking down alongside the marsh and peering through the brush.  Finally, one morning I spotted one!  He was across the water inlet and as I started taking some photos, he began to swim across and directly at me.  🙂   (UPDATE –  now I’m questioning my ID on this critter, is he an otter or muskrat?)  (NEW UPDATE – it was a muskrat!)

Muskrat

Muskrat

Muskrat

He disappeared just below me and was gone.  I don’t even think he saw me.   As I looked up and around, another was approaching me.

Muskrat #2

Muskrat #2

 Muskrat #2

And then he/she was gone!  I wondered if they had a home below me in the embankment.  I’ve continued to look for them in the mornings and have them several times since.

One evening from my balcony, I noticed there was some movement in the water to my right.  At first, I thought it was a fish….until I saw all of him.

Snake

I don’t know snakes and tried to identify him with the next cropped shot but couldn’t.  It was the closest crop I could do without any more blurriness.  Probably too poor a shot but maybe someone might know what kind?

Snake

Finally, while photographing barn swallows and purple martins by the marina a few mornings ago, I happen to see a jelly fish in the water.  As he rose to the top, the sunshine was shining nice on him, and I wondered if I could actually get a decent photo, so I tried, taking a few dozen.  He continued to stay on top, pulsating around.  Excuse the dirty water!

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

Jelly Fish

I  haven’t had time to identify what type of jellyfish it was as yet.  But he was pretty and the sunlight on him was perfect!

Well, that begins my photo collection of the critters that roam around our community, I hope you enjoyed them.  And, as always, thank you very much for stopping by!

38 thoughts on “Oyster Cove Critters

  1. Great photos! Loved them all, especially the otters.

    We had a feral cat problem here too. Last spring, they had an animal rescue crew come in and trap the cats, they managed to get all but one. This year, I am noticing that we have a lot more birds than we ever had before, which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    • Thanks Jerry,I liked the otters too. Other shots of them I’ve taken since haven’t even compared so I’m glad I got those photos! A neighbor has since commented that our cat’s name is Lucky, and has been here 10 years, wow. He is Lucky! I know what you mean about birds being more plentiful though, glad to hear and see all you’re capturing this spring.

  2. When I worked on the bay for the navy, saw all too many of the jellyfish which we called stinging nettles. Not sure if that is an accurate name. They pretty much prevent any thought of swimming in the water. In late summer they can be very widespread.

    Enjoy the photos. Sure is a great place for birds and more.

    Paul

    • We do have jellyfish throughout the summer around us; and they do prevent any swimming, they will sting you. Had a friend jump off a boat in the Bay off of Calvert Cliffs to cool off, and was immediately stung by several jellyfish, he had burn marks and didn’t feel so well rest of the day. Late summer, it’s unbelievable how many you can see in different areas! And in the Bay itself, big ones! I was surprised though to see this one so early in the season up in our little marina. Thanks Paul!

  3. Hi Donna, the jelly fish looks more like the winter jellies who are typically redish in color. I am also in OC and have not see any of the summer sea nettles but I suspect that they will be early this year due to the relatively dry spring. I have seen the OC fox many times. When I take my dogs out about 9 pm he/she is often on the strip of grass in front of the even number 900 building. The fox looks very healthy and often digs small holes all over the grass and tree area looking for food. He/she visits frequently in the winter and when the terripans are laying eggs. I live on the Route 50 side of OC and have seen the fox roaming along the shore of the marsh on rainy, cloudy days. A beautiful site but each time I was not quick enough in getting my camera and snapping some pictures.

    • Awesome sightings of the fox Kathy, thanks for passing this on. I may have to do a few dusk walks myself over that way to see if I can photograph him. I was hoping I’d catch a glimpse of him in the early mornings when we had the past rains, thinking he might be roaming but didn’t. I wasn’t sure if he was just passing through but it sounds like NOT! 🙂

  4. Beautiful pictures. I especially enjoyed the jelly fish ones. We don’t have them in southern Illinois.

  5. I love seeing these critters in the water — jelly fish, snake, or otter.

    And don’t you know, yesterday I topped a rise here by Little Crum Creek and met a feral cat just like the one you pictured.

    It’s been a busy season of lost/escaped/feral cats.

    • I saw a snake again tonight, same area, same time. He must have his loop in the evenings….
      How neato is that, makes you double-take, lol. This OC cat’s name is Lucky, I’ve learned from a neighbor. Which he is I can see.

  6. HI Donna,
    Lucky, the feral cat has been around OC 10yrs., and keeps our condo free of mice and other animals that stray too close.

    He is so sweet!

    • Thank you very much Lucy for Lucky’s info. I would say he is one lucky cat here in OC! 🙂 Cats are super for keeping mice away and I’m thankful for that. I’ve tried to walk very slowly towards him, but he quickly runs away. He does seem sweet, and when I see him walking along the berm, he is pretty against the rocks. 🙂

    • I’m looking into that otter vs muskrat ID! Very hard to distinguish between two, is it the muskrat has longer hair? Someone had told me they were otters….but if they are muskrats….does it mean I’ve found muskrat love? 😉

  7. Forgot to mention that Lucky has been neutered (note clip on his left ear by Vet) and has had all required shots. He is well fed and no longer interested in catching birds. Just enjoying retirement on the water. Who could ask for more? 🙂

    • Thanks again Lucy for Lucky’s info. I am very glad to hear he has been neutered, I was unaware of the ear-clipping for recognition, what a very good idea! Lucky is indeed lucky to retire along the water in OC! Lucky cat, that Lucky! 🙂

  8. Nice change of pace on the subjects you post, it helps give a bigger picture view of that wonderful backyard of yours! I’m pretty sure that is a muskrat – their faces are more triangular (mouse/rat) shaped, while otters tend to have more of a seal look. If you ever see him out of the water, you’ll know for certain…if you think it looks cute it’s an otter, but if it is ugly it’s a muskrat!

    • I’ve searched the web over on photos, and I’m agreeing with you Ken, it must be a muskrat. I’ve seen another one in our community’s fountain pond but he dove before I got the shot. I took photos last year of three otters making their way along the berm from my balcony but I couldn’t get close-enough crop to get clear detail. I had a local wildlife expert ID them and she was sure they were otters. So I assumed on these when I shouldn’t have! My otter photos do look more like a seal and these fellas did seem to have longer hair. Thanks for the ID help!! 🙂

  9. Lots of great shots … loved the jellyfish as I know how hard it is to get anything nice when it’s in the water. My vote is for Muskrat. We have lots of Otters and their fur is much sleeker looking and they are quite large. Thanks for keeping us updated! Tom

    • Thanks Tom, I’m agreeing with all of you great experts! Just commented to Ken/BigSkyKen, I’ve been looking at otters vs. muskrat photos on the web, I’ve seen so many now, I shouldn’t have a future problem in IDing! I guess my blog needed a little “Muskrat Love” in it! LOL 🙂

  10. Cute picture of tha squirrel! Loved the jellfish picture. That was pretty cool!! I’m thinking that was a muskrat you have a photographed. They are here too in SC and they destroy boat seats. A friend of mine had to replace her seats because they chewed them up. She had her seats reupholstered and they ruined them again!!! Not a fan of the muskrat and their rat-like tail but they are all part of the mix around here. Seems like they are out at dusk so thankfully I never seen them when I am swimming. About the snake …I can’t be sure but it looked like a triangle shaped head!! I am sure they are more afraid of you, but I would always run the other way. I just haven’t developed an appreciation for ANY OF THEM I guess!! 🙂 I’m partial to feathers…but I love your variety and your pictures are always great!

    • Thanks Linda for ID assistance on the muskrat. I think the majority ruled that’s what it was! 🙂 We do have otters in the area too, I took photos last year and they were ID’s as otters, so I just assumed. That’s what I get for assuming, LOL. Muskrats destroying boat seats, whoa! Hopefully ours stay clear of the hundred of boats around here, or they might be “no-more”! Thanks for your comments Linda!

  11. I’ll enjoy tagging along for the series on your neighborhood critters. I’ve learned from this too – I posted about a beaver. Now I’m considering if it’s a muskrat or an otter. So much to learn!

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