Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saltwater Day

I set out on the sound today to pick up some silt-stone rocks (for an art project) from a spot on the shore where a spongy clay deposit rises. I set out from Elliot Bay. It is 50F with sun and a very slight breeze. There are quite a few goldeneyes and buffleheads near shore today. A couple of bald eagles are cruising the 60 foot high bluffs that form the shore here. I can hear the rattling chatter of kingfishers. It takes about an hour to get to the clay deposit and it hits me that I have only been here on foot at low tide. Only a handful of silt-stones are above the waterline. I put back in and continue north up the shore. As I approach the West Point Lighthouse, a flock of 30 brandts (geese) round the point and come straight towards me with their wings set in a down facing arc as they prepare to land. They takeoff again and head north as I approach. A large sailboat regatta is slowly passing south. They are moving slower than I am with every inch of their sail up. North of the point, the brandts take to the air again as I near. I can see them until they are a few miles north - they are just passing through on their way to the arctic. I turn around when I reach the entrance to the ship canal. I spot a pair of red-breasted mergansers. They are the prettiest of the mergansers and the ones that I see least often. There are some scaup and some grebes about also. As I near 4 mile rock (photo), I spot a common loon and four surf scoters.

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