Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Eagles and Beaver

A Nor'Easter came through a couple days back, steady 35 mph winds with gusts up to 50.  Today is the calm between storms.  More wind is predicted for tomorrow with snow coming tonight.  But, what a calm it is.  I head out from Ely's Ferry in clear sky with temperatures in the 40's and more or less no wind.

I paddle upstream, and no sooner than 50 yards out, where I pass under a still unoccupied Osprey nest, an immature Bald Eagle drops down out of the trees and heads across the river.  No more than a couple hundred yards, and a second immature Eagle leaves a perch and heads upriver towards Hamburg Cove.  It is a good start to the day.

I follow the shore closely, the water being quite cold, and the interesting stuff being found where land and water meet.  Halfway between Hamburg Cove and Selden Channel I head up into a small creek that I have always bypassed.  The mouth is usually very shallow, but with the high rive and high tide I slip into it easily.  It is a nice side journey through swamp and after perhaps a third of a mile it meets one of Connecticut's 4000 dams, this one an old low earthen, stone and cement structure.  It's hard to say whether it had any purpose other than to create a pond...not enough height for much power generation.

an almost mature Bald Eagle
Just short of the bottom of Selden Channel I spot a more mature Eagle.  With my binoculars I can see that it is an immature that almost has adult colors.  The head is mostly white as is the tail, but the body is still the mottled feathering seen on juveniles.

Part way up the channel I am watching carefully a piece of land that the state has posted no trespassing.  I suspect it might be to protect a nest, but I can't see anything.  


The slap of a beaver behind me.  I turn to see a medium sized beaver in the water.  It circles downwind of me to catch my sent, and then begins swimming around me at a distance. 
We watch each other for about 15 minutes.   I get a few more tail slaps out of the beaver, and then I head off back in the direction from which I came.

Just as I near Hamburg Cove, a fully mature Bald Eagle flies past heading upstream.  That makes four for the day.

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