I cross the river, head down and into the cove where I find two mute swans call back and forth, the nasal whistle and fart vocalization being heard clear from well back in the calm. At the first big bend I flush a medium sized hawk...maybe a red shouldered...it flies a short distance to a new perch and I don't get a good look. Just below that, two kingfishers are busy hunting and a short time later a coopers hawk sits high as I pass.
I slow down, softening the paddle only to make less noise, and listening for motion in the forest on either side of the channel. Much is going on on such a nice day, but sound cannot be relied upon as a clue to what is there. With the leaves on the ground a squirrel makes as much noise as a cow would.
As I near the osprey nests, a dog squeak toy call signals the arrival of a pileated woodpecker, which lands only for a second in a tall dead snag before it thinks twice about sharing the area with me. It flies back in its signature pulsing motion to the forested hillside across the marsh. I turn up the long dead end channel that splits the lower tip of the island.
|three beaver scent mounds|