Sunday, July 3, 2011

The river

It is a pleasant day, warm and cloudy with sun coming through now and then, here and there. S comes along with me to the north end of the big lake where we put in for a short trip on the Sammamish River. They call it a slough, but I think of it as a river, which doesn't matter as much as the fact that S knows that I need to get out.

There is a stiff wind, which is the reason we head towards the river instead of more open water. But, the wind is out of the north, so even as we do the 1/4 mile or so across the big lake to the mouth of the river, we are protected from the brunt of the weather.

Four eagles are busy here. Only one is mature with a white head and tail. A kingfisher is working the shoreline where we put in.

The Sammamish is a mixed bag for wildlife. The mouth has a small marsh that hosts herons, wrens, ducks and blackbirds. Then we pass through area where houses and building were allowed to be placed far too close to the river for anyone's good.

A pair of plastic swans pooping polyethylene

Then, once again some open wetland, although it is wetland with little stewardship - too many blackberries, which means that there are other unhealthy invasives in the mix. It's this second area, where the river bends to the right and a stagnant creek joins in on the left that confuses me. It is a large enough patch of land that it should have a reasonably good amount of wildlife diversity, but it never does. S comments that something seems wrong even though it looks right.

We get up to the golf course, a rather unfortunate area that crowds the river and turn around.

While exploring the stagnant creek, we find a bit of beaver gnawing, but it is a small amount. This seems like a good place for beaver, but they too are not here.

Marsh wren nest (real, authentic and genuine)

At the mouth, more eagles come in, challenging each other in the air. There might be six total. I spot a fine wren nest in the marsh and stop to show S. As we cross the end of the lake an osprey circles high carefully watching a bald eagle circling below it. The kingfisher is still working the shoreline where we put in.

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