Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Out with the Loons and Long Tails

Morning comes with calm on the sound, the water undulating gently, an image of old window glass with patches of shimmers from unknown disturbances from elsewhere.
I carry down from the house and set out.  The rock groins are well submerged, brandts yield without alarm as I arrive.  I cut the bay between Pond and Welches Points, which takes me well away from shore, something I don't do in winter unless it is calm.  But there is purpose and reason to that course.  I leave the shoreline brandts, buffleheads, black ducks and gulls behind.  
Long tail ducks
I am with the long tailed ducks and loons.  The loons are quiet and go about their business, hunting and keeping some distance.  The long tails call incessantly from all directions around me.  Some are near and some are well out at the limit of vision, but the sound carries over the calm water without competition.  Both are divers and both dive long.  The loons go down and reappear maybe a hundred yards from where they started.  The long tails go down for 15 or 20 seconds and return to nearly the same place.

From Welches Point, I head straight out to Charles Island, again something I don't do unless it is calm.  I have seen long tails out here before, but not today.  Two oyster boats are working the area and it is possible that visibility is less than ideal for the deep diving ducks. 
Common loon
 Charles Island is rimmed with Canada geese, as usual for winter.  I round the small island close in on shore immersed in the goosely calls of mated pairs and unmated flocks.  As I near the submerged bar, the low tide access to the island, I hear honking from the long stretch of water to the west.  I know the geese aren't floating that far from shore but I see nothing...nothing....and nothing while the honking keeps coming...wait for it.
Then, they pop into view at great distance and I watch them close, pass my bow, and settle on the opposite side of the island.

1 comment:

MyrtleMeander said...

Lovely writing, Scott. I saw a loon on a reservoir in Westchester Co. today. They make me feel that wildness is not gone forever.