Sunday, August 9, 2015

In the Mattebasset Again

With a north wind, we put in on the big river so that we will have a tailwind on the return trip.  The warm temperatures of the last two weeks have dipped down to a comfortable level and the light breeze makes the day even more so, especially with partly cloudy skies that bring an occasional bit of shade from the sun.  We stop for a moment on the downstream tip of an island that shields the mouth of the Mattebasset River before heading up into it.

While high tide has already passed at the sea, it is near the crest here, far enough upriver to get a lag of an hour and a half or two.  Most noticeable from my last visit is the lack of herons and egrets, not that they are not here, just that they are not visible.  With the high tide, the shallows where they hunt are back behind the wall of cattails and wild rice.  On the way in, I spot only one egret and it is a 1/4 mile off perched in a tree.
There are large numbers of turtles out today and most of them are smaller...palm sized or so.

At the eagle nest, an immature bald eagle rests on a nearby branch.

What is more obvious is the large number of swallows.  They are at distance out over the vegetation but the glimmer of sun off of them as they dart and speed after bugs makes them easy to see.

And, we find large numbers of cedar waxwings whenever we find a big patch of frog moss in the water.  I've never seen so many in one place as here.  It is a new bird to S. so we park the nose of the canoe in the frog moss and watch them feed.  It's quite a pretty bird with tones of red and yellow and a bright yellow band at the base of the tail.  They speed after distant bugs and then pull up to a flutter in their final maneuver.  They take insects that are large enough to be seen by us from 20 yards or more (you never really see what the swallows eat).

cedar waxwing
On the way out the two great blue herons grace our presence by coming to the shore, some ospreys fly overhead, and we find more cedar waxwings.


Steve said...

I think it is a Cedar Waxwing.

Scott Schuldt said...

Definitely a Cedar Waxwing. Thanks for the correction. I was off by a mile on that ID!