Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Bird Day

The wind seemed ill informed as to the weatherman's prediction, so I diverted to a more inland location that was primarily in the trees or a shallow river valley. 

Just as we set out, S spots a Kingfisher.  I tell her, for no good reason, "I think this is going to be a good bird day."

We head down river.  The wind is gusting today.  It will be almost calm for 5 or 10 minutes, then the wind comes up for about 5 or 10 minutes before dying down.  That cycle repeats the whole time we are out.

We start to spot Great Blue Herons every so often.  Then, when we get to the first big opening, we count seven.  They are all fairly close together.  I've seen this congregating before in Union Bay in Seattle.  For a few days each spring I might find twenty or so Herons lined up in the marsh, each about 5 to 10 yards apart.  I don't know the reason behind it, but I assume it might have something to do with mating.  This is a common observation for the entire trip, Herons is loose groups of three or more.  We don't count but two dozen individual birds is conservative.

Osprey are out and fairly numerous.  A pair are perched in the tree that holds the old Eagle nest.  The nest has been unoccupied for two seasons and is shrinking as it falls apart.

Woodpeckers are constant.  I spot a few Hairys, a couple of Red Breasted, and several calls without sightings.

When we get down to the Tepee beaver lodge, a six foot tall cone that I am familiar with, and the associated well logged feed zone on the opposite shore, we spot a coyote.  It trots down river always keeping an eye on us. 
The Tepee Lodge
We turn back after examining the rootball beaver lodge.  There's no reason to do the final 1/3 of a mile to the big river when so much is going on in the marsh

A side trip on the return locates a Swan nest.  There is a pair that raises a few cygnets in this section of the river each year.  I never knew where the nest was.

Immature Bald Eagle
With a half mile left to the put in, we spot a pair of immature Bald Eagles.  They perch up in one of the back waters and we get to observe them for a few minutes.

Mattebesset River

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