Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hanging Weather

I put in at the east end of the ancient portage. If this was a hot day, people would say that the weather was just hanging in the air. But, it is cold. Still, the weather is just hanging in the air. It is calm and gray, and maybe 45 degrees. Flocks of coots and ducks are north of me forming dense patches of black specks in the water. It seems that they have no interest in flight, except that once in awhile a few get up to rejoin the main flock when it has drifted off out of safe range. I head up the east side of the west islands passing, the Rock Pile, Broken Island, Birch Island, Number Two and Number One. The names are mine alone. A hawk sits in the osprey tree just north of Number One. In the NE lagoon, I get out and explore the wetland that once was Yesler Creek. New knee length rubber boots makes exploring the marsh much more fun. I share the lagoon with one heron that is busy hunting 75 yards away. Leaving the lagoon, I spot 3 trumpeter swans on the easternmost of the dirtbergs. I close to 100 yards so that I can hear their honking without disturbing them. Crossing the middle of the bay, a flock of ducks overtakes me and I turn to see an eagle beginning an afternoon hunt. It goes for a flock to the west and circles over what might be a coot or pied billed grebe. The eagle is determined, but I doubt that a kill is in order - whatever it has forced to dive is exceptionally skillful at staying under. A second eagle is on a branch just above the south nest. I wonder if they will shift from the north nest that they have been using to this south one.

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