Monday, July 22, 2019

Bird Day in the Wheeler Marsh

The temperature dropped from the blistering levels of the weekend and a morning overcast made the day seem almost cool.  I put in from the state launch and headed seaward following the west bank, which is a mix of marinas and short patches of open shoreline, the route chosen just because I don't often bother with it.  I spot one Black Crowned Night Heron and five Great Blue Herons.  It rains for about ten minutes.

I follow that shore out to the mouth of the river and then cross over to follow the breakwater back.  Least and Common Terns are active... the reason is the rain drop patterns on the water are not coming from above, but from below.  Lots of tiny fishes for the Terns.  I also spot about a half dozen Oyster Catchers that are out here working over the exposed shallows.

Common Terns
The tide is about an hour past low when I get back to the marsh and it seems like I might just have enough water to get through...and if I don't it won;t be a long wait.  Most of the "paths" in this marsh are dead ends, but there is a nice diagonal that cuts all the way through.  It's just that at high water the entrance to it looks just like all the other openings.  I surprise myself and paddle straight into it.  It is easier to find at low water.
Yellow Crowned Night Heron
 Right away I start spotting both Yellow Crowned and Black Crowned Night Herons.  There is a large rookery for them not more than a mile and half away and the immatures have fledged and are out hunting on their own.  I spot a total of eighteen or so in the marsh, about 2/3 of them are Yellow Crowned and about 2/3 of the total are immatures.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron and a tire
The sun comes through just as I get to the upstream end of the marsh and I must admit preferring the clouds.  Three Egrets stand watch as I leave and continue back to where I came from...except you never end up where you came from.
Two Great Egrets and a Snowy Egret

No comments: