An unexpected sighting last week was a Beaver at very close range in the middle of the day. I have seen a few signs recently that Beavers are out and about despite the snow and ice (which must make it difficult for them to come in and out of their lodges).
Seeing the animal today the reason would seem to be that they are clearly starving. With this winter going on longer than expected they have probably used up the food they stored for the winter so are forced out to look for new supplies. They also have to use their teeth which are continually growing such that they wear them down.
The sight of the beaver and of moose close to the city is a reminder of how many animals are suffering this winter. Many birds are also suffering with early returning migrants finding no food and signs that many owls are having a really hard time.
There are many reports of dead Tawny Owls or Tawnies feeding in daylight in gardens which is a sure sign they are having huge problems finding food. Great Grey Owls are also turning up along the coast with very few records of singing birds suggesting that they are also struggling to find food and have had to flee the deep snow in the forests in their quest to survive (so breeding and all the use of energy that requires is not on the cards).