Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The First Fliers

I put in up in the forest, upstream of the garden gate that the tiny Foote Bridge makes.  When I pass under it and into the the forest marsh, everything becomes greater, everything becomes better.

I started in the forest for two reasons - There is a strong south wind that will blow me back to the put in when I decide that I've gone far enough, and the equation for the day includes the possibility of least for the first mile I will have a place to find cover.  I don't mind rain, but I do mind lightning.

I flush a Green Heron near the stone arch bridge.  They will become more plentiful later in the summer.  Adult Osprey are around as well, but that is so normal it hardly is worth mentioning.
Willet calling out from the spartina grass

A shower convinces me to pause under the Post Road Bridge, but it is only for 5 minutes.

The tide is up so I head into the Sneak.  I flush 5 Willets right away.  Not only are they flushed, but at least one of them stays in my vicinity warning anything else in the marsh of my presence.  I spot more Willets as I continue...quit counting at about 20.  There are many more here than I spotted on my last trip (I saw only 5) however, there seem to be maybe only half of what I would've seen during the peak of nesting.  So, they haven't migrated yet, but rather seem to have dispersed now that they are not anchored to a nest... they depend on each other for intruder warnings while nesting.

The first fliers...temporarily dazed and confused
I find most of the Osprey young still nest bound.  The exception is the nest on the Neck River just downstream of where Bailey Creek comes in.  An adult stands watch over two young that have managed to fly about 15 yards from the nest to a nearby dead snag.  I don't know how long they've been there, but the two youths seem to be wondering about what to do next.  I bet they've been there for hour or more...just a hunch.  I pass by and paddle down to the last bend and then return.  Neither of the young ones has moved.  An adult flies over to the nest and leaves a large fish as a temptation.  I continue on as my distraction will just add to their procrastination.  They'll figure it out once they realize that they have to do it themselves.
Two that haven't left the nest, yet

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