Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bird Day Too

I returned to the East River with S to take in the birds that I had seen on my last trip.  We set out from near the sea on a falling tide with mostly sunny skies and a temperature in the upper 60's.  The falling tide would be good for bird sightings with the silty mud banks gradually being exposed and drawing the Willets and sandpipers out of the higher grasses.

I was content to keep my camera stashed on most of the trip up river, concentrating on pointing out and observing what we saw rather than recording it. 

 When we reached the inlet leading to the old sawmill dam I spotted a Yellow Crowned Night Heron, within about 15 feet of where I spotted one on my last trip.  I suspect they are one and the same.  While watching I detected a distant and nonrhythmic hammering.  S listened and heard it too.

 As we continued I heard the weird call of a pileated woodpecker and I quickly spotted it in a riverbank tree some thirty feet up working away at the bottom of a pre-existing round hole.  After a few seconds it decided that we were not a threat and returned to hammering and flinging chunks of wood and occasionally stopping to eat what I assume were ants.  True to nature, the new hole was pileateds do.

 After a good ten or fifteen minutes we turned back knowing that the river above would be getting close to being too shallow to pass.   We rode the ebbing current back into an occasional and mild headwind that when necessary, was canceled out by the current.

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