Friday, May 8, 2020

Eagle Check

We set out from Pilgrim Landing to go up into the farthest reaches of the cove.  The day is grey and overcast, cooler than the the last few days and with a threat of rain as a weather front moves in this evening. The tide is nearing high and it is also a higher than normal tide, so the shallower side channels should be passable if we choose to use them.

There are plenty of birds around, but they are not particularly active.  In fact, the whole day is rather quiet if we discount Mr. J.Q. Moneybag's gardeners who are leaf blowing his multiple acres of water front property a good 3/4 of a mile away.  Red Wing Blackbirds are all around and every so often one of the nesting Osprey flies by.

I go right to get around Coute's Hole, a weird round pond in the marsh circled by a wall of cattails.  Somewhere, I miss a turn and we deviate farther to the right than anticipated.  I end up pushing the canoe through shallows for about 25 ft to get back to the plan.
Eagle nest (pine tree right of S)
The distant nest, somewhere near Ely's Ferry Rd is obvious on the skyline.  I knew it was there but didn't know if it was Osprey or Eagle as you cannot paddle within a 1/2 of a mile of it.  S uses the binoculars and can see the white heads of mature Bald Eagles in the nest.  We continue into the older nest.  Both adults are there perched near and below the nest.  Their chicks have hatched.  These two are superb Eagle parents having raised three Eaglets during each of the last two years.  Normally, Eagles raise one - two if they're good.

Just as we turn to come back, the temperature drops a good 5 degrees or so in about the same number of minutes.  A cool sprinkle of rain comes about ten minutes later.  There will be no let up for the rest of the day.
I find the remains of a Goose nest on one of the rock islands, a usual nesting spot every year.  It's just some feathery mess and a few egg shell fragments.  About a half mile further on, we spot the Geese and five small goslings that are all of three days old.
We end up seeing a total of six mature Bald Eagles.  Also, the first Marsh Wrens of this spring, one Great Blue Heron, three Great Egrets, a Mallard, a Turkey Vulture and maybe eight or ten Osprey.

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