Friday, September 7, 2018


The tide hadn't quite crested, a trickle of salt water was still filling a low spot where I was putting in.  There was a light wind, just enough to raise a thrum as the air passed over the folds of the ears.  But the temperature had dropped 15 degrees or more since yesterday, brought on with good thunderstorm that has left a sky roofed well over with a thick layer of dark clouds
With the high tide I headed up the Neck aiming for the Sneak, my  preferred route to the upper end of the river when the timing is right.  It is bird quiet this morning...just a few Osprey.  The first nest has been blown off of the man-made platform, so they got some wind here as well.  The loss of the nest is no problem as the young have all fledged and the adults will rebuild it next year.

As I near the upper end of the Sneak, a Harrier sweeps by, crossing the entire marsh at 10-15 ft over the surface.  It is a dark hawk with a white butt patch and a head that reminds me of an owl...pretty easy to identify if one is close enough.  As I leave the Sneak I spook 12 Willets.  Approaching the dike below the Post Road I spot a Kingfisher.  More often than not throughout this entire trip I will either be hearing or seeing a Kingfisher.  They are out in numbers.
In the Big Bends I start seeing Great Blue Herons.  As with the Kingfishers, they are here in numbers and sightings increase as I continue upriver.  I will easily have a dozen sightings by the end of the trip.
Approaching the Stone Arch Bridge an Osprey and a Bald Eagle take wing out of the same tree.  That Osprey flies away, but a second Osprey overtakes the Eagle.  It takes several swoops at the Eagle, dropping down from above, each time the Eagle rolls over and fends off the Osprey with its talons.  They continue upriver until out of sight...then the Osprey returns and joins the first Osprey.

Green Heron
Near Foote Bridge I spot 4 Green Herons, this being a favorite spot for them with trees and low branches overhanging the water.

All this time I have been just at the head of the tidal stagnant water...hardly any current since the lag in tide levels takes time to get upriver.  I turn at the bend above Foote Bridge and notice the ebb.  I return to the put-in riding a steadily increasing current.  The wind has calmed, the clouds are still there, the day is still and pleasant, the trip is somewhat dreamlike.

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