Saturday, September 14, 2019

Young Mink Spotted On Sammamish River

Young mink spotted on Sammamish River across from the fishing pier at Luke McRedmond Landing
The mink is scampering into the grasses
During a break in the rain showers on Monday afternoon, I went for a stroll south along the Sammamish River Trail.  I started from the promontory located opposite the Opportunity Building, near the Ben Franklin store.
After a few minutes, I passed underneath Redmond Way and entered the park area known as the Luke McRedmond Landing.  Continuing southward, I bypassed the short concrete walkway that branches off and descends to the river’s edge, where anglers sometimes cast for fish.
Glancing directly across the river at that point, I thought I saw some movement on a small ‘island’ of tangled logs and branches up against the opposite bank.  Slowing my stride, I took a closer look.  Sure enough, I spotted what I quickly realized was a young mink, dark brown in color.  It was much smaller than the otters which I have also occasionally seen in here the river.  I would guess it was about 15 or 16 inches in length.
It scurried about, up and down over the logs, before plopping into the water and disappearing from sight.  After a few moments, it emerged, stopping for a few seconds to scratch its ear like a dog, before once again diving into the river.
Meanwhile, I turned around and headed back down to the fishing pier, while simultaneously pulling my mini-camera out of my pocket.
The mink again reappeared, enabling me to snap off a few shots before it submerged once again under the water. It briefly showed itself on a log, before permanently retreating into the surrounding underbrush along the shore.
I thought it must be young, because when it clearly saw me across the river, it didn’t immediately run away and disappear from sight, which I think a mature adult would have done.  It seemed to be enjoying itself, scampering about and diving into the water and then repeating the process.
I have only once before seen a mink along the Sammamish River.  That was back in 2011 or 2012, when I saw one at the edge of the 90th Street Runoff Pond.

Photo and story by John Reinke 

No comments: