Thursday, September 13, 2018

Filthy with Birds

The place is filthy with birds.
Snowy Egrets and a few Night Herons
I haven't been here all summer for no good reason as it is just on the other side of town from where we live.  But, I needed a short break and the short drive would maximize the time in the canoe.  I put in from the primitive state launch and head out clockwise around the marsh, because that is the direction the canoe is pointed when I set it in the water.  By the time I have paddled 200 yards I have seen a mix of well over 60 Snowy Egrets and Night Herons with a few Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets thrown in.  They are perched in the trees of the forested shoreline that forms the East side of the marsh.  The only time I've seen this density before is out at the nesting colonies on Charles Island.

Wheeler Marsh at high tide
There continues to be a scattering of Herons and Egrets as I make my way out to the long sand spit, Milford Point.  There. I spot a Common Loon, first of the fall for me.  Loons like the mouths of rivers where they dive for fish in the tidal currents.

Osprey Nest
I follow the inner channel of Nell's Island.  It is high tide and I can take alternate routes through the flooded spartina, although not too alternate.  Most of the channels in the marsh are dead ends even at high tide.  When my chosen path goes narrow I turn out to be lucky and follow a clear opening back into the main channel.  Every so often out here in the open marsh I happen across a half dozen or more Egrets and Herons standing back from the water on some small slightly dryer bit of marsh.  I also find a low Osprey nest built on a drift log rootball.
Four juvenile Night Herons
Up at the top of the Marsh I ride the flood into Beaver Creek.  More Egrets, a few Osprey, and a few Herons.

As I approach my put-in from up river, I find another 40 some Egrets and Night Herons.  I'd say that my day count is good for about a 100 Egrets and 75 Night Herons.

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