Saturday, July 7, 2018

Perfect Weather

The morning comes cool and sunny and far less humid than it has been for a week.  And while those past days weren't intolerable, they were unpleasant enough to curtail or shorten my time in the unshaded salt marshes.
S and I put in at the end of Neck Road with a gently falling tide and a very pleasant cooling headwind coming out of the north.  It soon becomes obvious that this will be a good day for bird watching. Unseen Willets are calling out in force while adult Osprey watch over their young who are still unable to fly, but active enough to be up and looking around from the nest.  A couple of Roseate Terns are fishing the East River, whirling and swooping, diving from 15 feet high for the catch.  They are remarkably nimble flyers.  With the tide part way down, the mud banks aren't showing, but the tall spartina - spartina alternaflora is dominating the view.  We flush Willets, unseen until we are just a few feet away, from the tall grass.
Just after passing under the stone arch bridge we spot a Yellow Crowned Night Heron.  It is the first one that I've seen here this season.  It is more common near our home where there is a nesting colony on Charles Island.  It stands in the shade and watches us closely until we are headed away.
Yellow Crowned Night Heron

We run out of water just short of the Gravel Flats.  A line of silt clouds in the water track a swimmer...I spot the shell of a snapping turtle just before the stern of the canoe rubs over it.  That does no harm, just makes it move off a bit faster than it intended to do.
Our return is no more or less than our paddle in was...bird sightings a constant, a cool wind behind us mostly, in our faces on a few meanders, the Roseate Terns closer to the sea where we had left them.  It was one of the most pleasant canoe days that I have had in recent memory.

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