Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Northern Shovelers Have Returned

I started today at the newly refurbished Portage Bay boat launch. I always avoided this spot in winter because I would have to wade 20 feet out in the mud just to float the canoe. I met the grounds keepers who just happened to be doing some follow-up work and complimented them on the excellent job. In the photo is the Portage Bay beaver lodge. A track up the side and fresh branches piled on top confirm that it is still in use. Once through the cut into Union Bay, a heron skims the surface, a pied billed grebe sinks as I approach, and six Canada geese fly directly overhead in an echelon. A work crane is to the east, a bad sign signaling the beginning of new bridge work - work that will widen the ugly and noisy highway that runs through this pretty spot. More coots are in the bay and they form a large mass out in the middle. The lily pads are so thin now that I can paddle the marsh edges with ease. I surprise some ducks and coots rounding a point. They have not yet learned that they are easy eagle food when they are so close to the shore. I retrieve a little trash and see mostly tennis balls. This may be a good sign because tennis balls are deliberately tossed into the lake, and if they are more obvious than other trash it may mean that trash takes longer to accumulate than I thought. From the north point, I see one eagle sitting at the lunch counter. I paddle over to a down wind location to see if it has been eating, but there are no feathers in the water. I spot some northern shovelers today also, the male which is very beautiful.

No comments: