C and I put in on the Lieutenant River and head down river toward the sea taking the back channel that is well away from the main of the Connecticut River. It is a good day for spotting egrets and osprey, the tide low with plenty of shallows for the wading white birds, and nothing but prime nesting habitat for the osprey. Regulars along the way, until we turn up the Black Hall River are the glossy ibises, walking the mud flats and stabbing their exceptionally long curved bills into the mud in search of small shellfish.
Our route on the way out is dictated by the low tide and I steer a longer route that tries to stay in the deeper channel. In the silty water, it is often the touch of a paddle in the sticky mud that signals an adjustment to the left or right.
It is a holiday weekend and there are a good number of small boats out as well as quite a few people fishing for crab from the banks. The reports are consistant, the crab are still small and few people are getting any that they can keep. They also tell us that snapping turtles are eating more of the bait (usually an old chicken leg) than the crab.
Returning out of the upper Black Hall, the water is already up eight inches and I steer us closer to shore where we can see more wildlife. Just before getting back to the Lieutenant River, I hear the cracking of phragmite reeds and a fawn leaps out into the water and swims across the 30 yard wide channel.
C is paddling strongly and I take us right past our put-in and up the Lieutenant because the upper mile is well worth the time and effort.
When we get back to the put-in, there are two adult swans with six cygnets...an unusually large number.
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