Saturday, June 4, 2016

More Wrens, More Wren Nests

The tides were very high today, high enough that we avoid the low boat launch near the sea in exchange for the forest launch at Foote Bridge.  We put in about 45 minutes before high tide and all of the dead falls and boulders below the bridge are well submerged.  I was here just two days ago and the most obvious change is in the activity of the marsh wrens.  They are much more vocal today, which is probably connected to the male's nest building.  The other day I spotted just one new nest.  Today, we find them regularly...ten or twelve without putting effort into it.  Most are unfinished, not yet large enough to house a family of wrens.  Apparently, they do not finish one completely, but work on several at a time.  Each male will build up to 15 nests in an effort to attract a the nest clusters are usually the work of a single bird.  They have been busy.

wren nest
The air is soft and warm, but with a fresh light breeze that makes it perfect to be out in.  

in The Sneak
It is the usual mix of summer birds, great and snowy egrets here and there, osprey here and there, wrens everywhere above the salt marsh, willets below the railroad bridge, and glossy ibises either flying over at times or feeding out in the marsh center away from the river.   The Sneak is exceptionally wide and easy to paddle at this high of a tide and the willets come out to circle us and call out warning.  They must be nesting.  We take some time to check the osprey nests for chicks, but it looks like only the Cedar Island nest has one (as it did two days before).

The Foote Bridge put-in
We return up the East River, but take the side channel that connects to The Sneak as the tide ebbs.  The Sneak flows in both directions during ebb and we get a short fast ride upriver to near the railroad bridge before we have to go against the current again.

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