Sunday, August 13, 2017

Late Summer Bird Shift

We put in just after low tide, a flood current helping us along into a pleasant headwind that presented little difficulties in making headway or maintaining course.  The lower marsh was quite.  We saw no adult Willets and counted only 4 or 5 young ones who happened to be feeding along the shore.  This is the time of summer when there is a marked change in birdlife in the marsh.

The Osprey in the lower marsh were mostly perched.  In any respect, they were rather inactive.  Little was going on until we reached the Big Bends where we started to come across a few Snowy Egrets.  After leaving the Big Bends we spotted three medium sized hawks... perhaps Coopers.  This is one of those things I've noticed about Willets.  When the Willets are nesting, there are very few hawks seen. When the Willets are gone, the hawks return. Willets, being a sentinel bird, come up and challenge the hawks, raising a ruckus so that every bird or mammal within in earshot knows that there is a predator bird aloft.  Hunting for hawks must be pretty bad when Willets are around.
The lower Big Bend

The water was getting shallow when we reached the Duck Hole Farms.  This resulted in there being a good number of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets in a rather short stretch of river, along with two of the largest Osprey that I've seen and a couple Kingfishers.  Obviously, fishing is good at this tide and time of day.

Duck Hole Farms
It was easy paddling, so S kicked back quite often on the return.  While we had a flood current to work against, we had a more than favorable tailwind to push us along.

Where: East River

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