Thursday, April 11, 2019

Nest Check

I started the trip as many do, talking with some guy for about a half hour.  He was interested in my drysuit, but we also talked about birds and canoes and stuff.  He had an old brown and arthritic dog that mosied around the launch area.  He finally came over to visit and I notice a fishing line dangling.  Well, he'd found a fish hook with the top of his nose, which didn't seem to bother him too much.  I cut the line so that he wouldn't dig the hook in deeper and they left to go have the vet remove it.

I set out from the mouth of Salmon Cove. The Connecticut River is quite high, so the Salmon is backed up and high as well, today the tide will be of no consequence.
1st Nest
 Last summer we had a strong windstorm come through and it blew down two Osprey nests that were up in trees on the east side of the river.  In both cases the chicks had already hatched and were lost.  Osprey reuse their nest sites each year, even if the nest is no longer in place.  However, this time the adult pairs moved their nest sites and rebuilt hasty stick pile nests as if to mark their spot - without young, the adults really don't need the nest.
2nd Nest
The first new nest is on the first point opposite the put-in.  This was not one of the hasty built structures from last summer.  The pair are still bringing nest materials to the site, but it is already substantial.
2nd Nest
The second nest is where one of the pairs did build a temporary nest last summer.  It is just across the river from one of the original nests at the top of a low and stout snag.  It is nearly egg worthy.
The cove is pretty empty of birds other than a pair of Common Mergansers and a pair of Wood Ducks.  It's a lot of water for four birds.  Up in the river I flush tow immature Bald Eagles.  I also spot a few Canada Geese and about a dozen more Common Mergansers.
I paddle up to the Leesville Dam and check the river upstream from shore.  The ice barrier (several concrete pillars across the river) have collected a good amount of downed timber, so much so that I don't think I could paddle upstream without portaging.

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