Egrets are visible as white spots in the distant trees of Charles Island. Unlike my own "home" shoreline, which is alive in winter and somewhat dull as summer approaches, the island is all life - its winter dormancy has passed. Gulls and cormorants own the rocks surrounding the island while Canada geese and mallards rest in the tidal grasses and the narrow beach. An oyster catcher streaks by calling a very high pitched, "weeeeeeep!" Great Egrets are perched in trees, mostly towards the heart of the island, and by the dozens, but don't seem to be tending nests, yet. The trees closer to the water hold black-crowned night herons and many of them tend unlikely small nests...bunches of twigs jammed high in branching forks. As I neared, I watched an osprey hover, dive, and splash...a miss, but it moved a short distance and repeated and scored. The osprey perches high in the center of the island with its meal.
I paddle away following the bar that connects the island to the mainland. Low tide approaches and the lowest parts of the bar are just an inch below the surface. The next stretch of shore, the two miles from the island to the mouth of the big river, is less interesting. It is sand without any freshwater creeks and apparently, it holds little interest for the birds.
|Excellent camouflage - dunlins|
On a mudflat up the river, I find two solitary sandpipers...being not solitary. They are migrants, a bird that I've not seen before. They are passing through heading north well into Canada. At Fowler Flat, a mute swan heads straight for me going through a variety of clearly aggressive poses as I steer wide.
|Mute swan - this is a warning|