Sunday, September 2, 2018

A Small Expedition

I carry the canoe from the car over to the water.  Some guy pulls up to the ramp and unloads his canoe while I walk back to grab the rest of the gear and fetch my wife, S.  When we return, that guy looks at me, "Scott!" Damned if it ain't my artist friend G and his wife L.  They're in the habit of going around Connecticut and exploring different rivers much like I do.  We've talked about canoeing together, but it never happened.  Today, by chance and dumb luck, it happened.
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G and L tell me that they've been here to the East River 4 or 5 times.  We'll go up the river together so that I can point out some features, since I paddle the river 4 or 5 times each month.

The tide is low, so showing off the Sneak, other than the entrance can't happen until we come back down when there will be more water.  We head up the East. 

There's few birds in the lower marsh.  Rule 1 is in play - "First one up the river sees the most wildlife" and I imagine that people have been crabbing by boat, which scares off pretty much anything on shore.  But, the crabbers usually stay down in the lower marsh, so when we get to the Big Bends things get more interesting.  We flush a Green Heron and then three Great Blue Herons.  Great Egrets start showing up as well.  Osprey have been rare, perhaps the fishing is better elsewhere.

In the trees before the Stone Arch Bridge we start spotting Kingfishers.  Above the Stone Arch Bridge there's more bird action... several Osprey are up here for one.

We creep our way through the low tide shallows at Duck Hole Farms...two Red Tailed Hawks fly by and head off into the forest.  Now, we start to see numerous Snowy Egrets, a couple more Green Herons and, of course, Yellow-Legs working over the wide mud bar at the Gravel Flats.

We turn back 200 yards short of Foote Bridge, being that it is more wading than paddling to get there at this tide level.

The trip out is against the flood current and against a pleasant headwind.  Everyone finishes hungry and tired.

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