Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Heron Congregation

I set out with S from the Foote Bridge on a sunny day with a prediction of increasing winds and possible rain.  The tide is rising, but the front edge of the flood has not reached this section of the river and we head down on a good current of snow melt, but so far in shallow waters.  We start early to beat the wind, as much as possible.

At the second bend we spot an osprey and flush five, no six, no seven great blue herons from what is a very small area...ten or fifteen yards of shoreline.  It is what I call their spring congregation, a behavior I noticed out west where I would see twenty to thirty of them within a hundred yard span of shoreline.  I haven't found a description of this meeting up, but I assume it has to do with mating.  As they fly off, we can see one kingfisher, four osprey, and seven herons all at one time.  Spring.

Passing the stone arch bridge takes us out to a more open marsh with the wind at our back but not strong enough to be a worry.  

Osprey are on the two nest boxes.  A pair of kingfishers stay behind in the trees.  We explore a side channel that I've been into once, a long time ago.  It goes farther than I thought.  We follow the tight meanders until it peters out, a patch of phragmites at the head, as there often is with such things.

We return, running up the channel to the old sawmill dam, which S had not never seen from the water.  We talk about spring and how all of its signals and characteristics can be felt, even when they are not visible.

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