Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mennunketesuck River

Sorry, no photos today.  My memory card went belly up near the end of the trip.

I'm reading Turner again.  No other nature writer jump starts my head and heart so well.  He has penned a lifetime of thinking in the "Abstract Wild" and it cuts through the bullshit and preliminaries and aims a person in a direction and lets them find the way.

A report came out this week about the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.  The idiots, and I am using the term correctly and accurately, who have been denying climat change are now beginning to change their story to, "the people don't believe it"...doing whatever it takes to avoid any blame for 20 years of stuffing voter's heads with shit.

Willets have returned to the east marsh in force, as I noted on my last trip.  Today, I put in from the little bridge over the Mennunketesuck River and paddle downriver to that river's own salt marsh.  It is not quite as large or expansive as the East River's marsh, but it seems that it should be large enough to draw willets.  The day is cool with a light breeze and the tide is low but rising once again and as I start my eye level is even with the spartina grass, a perfect vantage for spotting bird heads and necks as they pop up from feeding to take a look around.

I round the first couple bends, where the river gradually takes on a wider margin of marsh, leaving the last of the bedrock outcrops, moving away from the trees.  The first of the shore birds is a solitary medium sized sandpiper.  I spot a great egret nearby, and a couple more egrets of unknown specie several hundred yards away - the snowys and greats both being stark white, but not discernable from that distance.

It is not until the last bend before the railroad bridge that I spot a willet...startled into the air, it shows its clear wing bars and as if that wasn't enough, it lets out a full variety of its calls.  Another is nearby.
After the narrow railroad bridge, I spot a very large wild turkey shuffling through the spartina grass, but not too much else.  This is the wrong side of the tracks and I turn back away from the edges of the massive marina that lies further down.

Fifteen glossy ibises fly over as a flock, their deep red-brown pencil-ness becoming more familiar to me.  They fly necks and feet outstretched, and with the long curved bill, they appear very thin. 

I turn up the Gatchen Creek.  It holds a wide variety of birds, even more than the river.  A couple dozen yellow legs, a single glossy ibis busy feeding, a little blue heron, some ducks, and several of the small sanpipers.

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