Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sturgeon Creek

This is where our house is located- right on Sturgeon Creek. The creek was named for the Atlantic Sturgeon that was once prominant in its waters.  Unfortunately overfishing created a decline in the sturgeon's numbers and sightings are few and far between.  I was lucky enough to see one when I was around the age of 10-11.  I was in Deltaville with my aunt and cousin and while we were outside we saw them.  We didn't see anything in detail, just a couple of dark shadows moving through the water near our pier.  I secretly was hoping  thought it might be a great white shark.  Of course we went to the master of all wildlife knowledge- Pepop- and asked him what it might be.  He of course knew right away and told use how lucky we were to have seen it.

When I was a kid, Sturgeon Creek was teaming with wildlife.  We had a pair of resident otters that kept us entertained while they were there.  We of course also had ducks- wild ones and a flock of white Pekins.  Someone's dog had their way with the white ducks, so the wild ones are the ones left now.  I do remember watching what we called "dipper ducks" that would dive under the water and pop up in a different place.  I don't see them too often.  I think they are actually known as a Bufflehead duck which is a pretty interesting bird.  They are monogamous, taking only one mate for life. I was lucky enough to see some loons (other than the ones that walk on 2 feet) when I was down in early April.  I love hearing their lonely calls.

We've also housed a muskrat in the marshy area between our house and what was always referred to as Miss Mary Jane's house (the owner's name growing up was Mary Jane, she lived there).  If memory serves, she had an apple tree at one time, and the muskrat could be found sitting under it munching apples.  They are fun to watch swimming, though they do a number on the ground with their tunnel networks. 

Of course we have all the other waterfowl.  One of my favorites is the Blue Heron.  We always called the Blue Herons "Big Bird".  Now and then we get to see some snowy egrets too.  I was lucky to see one across the creek and snap some photos of it.  I also love the ospreys in the area.  When I was younger, every evening we would make a trip over to the other side of the creek to go see the osprey nest.  It was there for many years before the old tree finally fell into the water.  Now there is a nest that sits atop one of the light poles of the stadium.  I hear sometimes and outfielder stumbles upon a fish carcass now and then. 

Of course you have the Seagulls, the fish and once Kelly and I even caught a seahorse- definitely a rare sight in the creek. 

But I think my all time favorite animal encounter happened when I was kayaking around the sandbar one evening.  I was just drifting around in the low water when about 30 stingrays moved in and began feeding.  It was amazing to watch and even feel them bump the bottom of my kayak. 

So, those are some of the things about my creek.  Many other stories... but I have to save some for another post.


  1. Otters? How fun. We have the muskrats, the diving ducks, mallards, herons, once in a blue moon an egret, water moccasins and the occasional skate or ray (don't know which is which). These days we don't see nearly as many mallards and the Canada geese are taking over. That's because my mother feeds them daily, sometimes by hand.

    Still can't get over the otters. That must have been quite the experience, watching them.

  2. The otters were a lot of fun to watch while they were there. Too much activity now on the creek so I haven't seen them in many years, but a great memory! Our neighbor used to feed geese then realized just how many show up and stopped. I think a skate and ray are the same thing, but the skate no longer has it's stinging barb- I don't think they grow back