Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Fifty Percent Osprey

I started down below just as the tide was peaking and I rode the last of the flood up the Neck River and into Bailey Creek, then through the Sneak.  We've had some snow this winter, but none of the heavy wet stuff, so most of the marsh grasses are still standing, dried and tan in color.  I don't see any new growth, yet.

It is a good day with sun and 40-ish temperatures.  There is a bit of wind which is putting the cool on everything.  It will be a headwind on my way out, but I should also be riding the ebb at that time.

An unscientific scan of the lower marsh leads me to think that we are half osprey.  Most of the nests seem to have one osprey near or in them, a couple have a mated pair, and a few have none in sight.  Osprey pairs mate more or less for life, but they spit up when they migrate south and don't meet again until nesting.  In one of the full bends of the Neck River, I flush ten Black Ducks.  Farther up I spot a couple of Swallows.  Otherwise it is a fairly quiet day as far as birds go.
I get up to Foote Bridge, my usual high point, and then turn back.  At the arch bridge I meet the Beebe dock guys hauling a dock section for someone.  They let me know that there is no traffic below (sarcasm) and I let them know that there is no one above and they are clear to water ski.
The rest of the way I have a somewhat stiff headwind, but the shoreline speeds by at a surprising rate as my paddle digs into the ebb current.

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