Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The Long Overdue Canoe with an Artist

My "let's go canoeing" pitch was something like seven years ago. The two of us would lose touch, run into each other, lose touch again, and so forth. But, we get along so well that we always picked up without any hint of the time that had passed. We're both artists, so we always have something meaty to say to each other.

Finally, "A" goes canoeing. We meet at my house. yesterday's forecast of showers and possible thunderstorms has changed to just showers. The tide will be very high about a quarter after eleven. I prepped the portage cart in the morning, so when A gets here, we are ready to go...after coffee and a long chat.

Earlier I asked A whether she preferred seeing birds, or beaver. Birds it was.

We portage the 250 yards to Long Island Sound. Only the last fifty of that is on my shoulders, but it is down 30 feet of stairs to the bottom of the seawall. We take the portage cart with. The wind shifted to be out of the south, and if it gets much stronger, landing here is less than fun. I tell A about my first landing in wind here and how I had to jump out in waist deep water and keep the canoe from filling and getting pushed onto the boulders. A canoe full of water has a funny way of punching holes in itself when that happens. If we have to, there are sand beaches within portage cart distance that we can divert to.

We head off up the shore. A couple seconds of instruction and A has it, almost natural. The waves are coming from behind, the direction that canoes are the least stable in. It's a condition where someone who is nervous and twitchy can make the ride worse. A passes that test with flying colors.

We talk our way up the shore, passing Point Rosa and whatever the next point might be called. There, I point out the low bridge over the mouth of the Oyster River. We duck low and ride the flood current into the small river. It soon opens up into a small salt marsh. We spot a Green Heron and an Osprey. There's quite a few Snowy Egrets in the short spartina, a pair of Canada Geese, and a few Great Egrets. We flush a Yellow Crowned Night Heron and two Black Crowned Night Herons. It is a meandering 3/4 of a mile up to the end of canoeable water, and there's always a few birds to look at... a small unidentified Hawk, a couple Mallards, a Kingfisher or two. We count near a dozen Great Blue Herons. The little salt marsh is holding about as many birds as one might expect. A is having a good time and comments about getting to see these birds from below and from the water for a first time.

On the way out I take advantage of the tight meanders to teach A the stationary draw stroke - a non moving paddle stroke that a bow paddler can use to pull the canoe around a corner while the stern paddler keeps power stroking. It's very efficient and a fun stroke for people to learn.

The tide is near slack when we head out into the sound. It's a good paddle back, into the wind with some chop and waves, but nothing to worry about. And with that, we're back to the seawall. Just carry the gear up to the street level and walk back.

Trip 2 is being scheduled.

Saturday, August 26, 2023


It is a melancholy morning, cloudy and gray with humid and still air. I can't decide where to go, so I load up and drive east. It will come to me on the drive.

An idea makes the decision. Well, maybe not an idea, more of an impulse. Contrast. 

I put in on the Thames, right under the high bridge at the state launch. Nearby are parts for offshore windmills. I worked for Boeing for many years, so I am familiar with big wing things. But these, dwarf most things that I've ever worked on. Several hubs are near the road and farther down river is a single blade. They're all just improbably gigantic.

I put in and head upstream. First, I pass the Coast Guard Academy. Then, a shipyard with a couple of dry docks, and two ocean going tugs and small car ferry. Past that is the wooden ship graveyard, which is a two or three sunk and rotted boat hulls. It's hard to say what they originally were, but one of them clearly had a ship hull shape to it. I've always been surprised that they were left here.

Mamacoke Cove. Nautilus in the distance, archaeology site somewhere off to my left

After that, it is one part of the contrast, Mamacoke Island. If you hung out with any archaeologists, even for a short time, you'd recognize Mamacoke as a tailor made fishing and hunting camp site. The island is a forested dome of bedrock, about a 1000 ft across, connected to the mainland by a low tidal marsh that forms two shallow bays. Last year while doing some research, I found out about the Mamacoke Island rock shelter. Two skeltons with some stone tools and arrowheads were found there in 1927. Unfortunately, the finders were young boys who carried off most everything. Archaeologists only found out about the site in 1980, when one of the surviving boys, then in his 70's, donated what was left of his collection, including a skull, to a museum in Mystic. Imagine the marbles and baseball cards that those arrowheads purchased. Since the 1970's, a few archaeological sites have been located on the island, mostly at or near the shoreline. Human activity there goes back at least 4000 years.

Just across the river, a third of a mile distant, lies the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine. It is, perhaps a key artifact of the anthropocene, if you discount with plastic waste. Upstream of the Nautilus is the well guarded New London Submarine Base. Pre-contact stone points on the west side of the river, nuclear weapons on the east.

It is surprisingly still today, considering that it is a weekend. I continue paddling up along Mamacoke Island and then follow the shore up as far as Gale's Ferry. Against the light current, this takes about 2 hours. I've only seen a half a dozen power boats during that time. With no traffic, I make a pleasant crossing of the river and follow the east shore back down to the head of the sub base, where I cross back over. Then, once below Mamacoke Island, I cross over again in order to get a closer look at the Nautilus. From there, down to the high bridges and cross again to my put-in.

2 Eagles, 2 Osprey, 1 Great Egret, a few Great Blue Herons, 6 Mallards and a few cormorants.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

The Chipuxet River

I have something like two dozen routes that I paddle regularly. I paddle many of them several times each year. Some get visited a couple times each month. I get to see week to week changes throughout the year. I get to see birds come and go, plants bloom, go to seed and die back, and sometimes I get to see snow on the marshes and ice in the channels. But sometimes I just have to go to someplace new.

I put in on the Chipuxet River for the first time. The start is easy to find, a state launch for canoes in the Great Swamp Wildlife Management Area. The river here is not much more than a canoe length in width, and it is going to stay that way for most of the trip. I head downstream towards Worden Pond. The Chipuxet will end there. The water that continues out of the lake is the Pawcatuck River. Name changes like that are an oddity of New England.

The first half hour is nothing but turning. The current is mild, but the open channel narrow. It is a good place to perfect ones draw and sweep strokes, but it is a lot better if you have that down already. Although the rumors of poison ivy are exaggerated, anyone that comes in here without some ability to turn a canoe is going to be well scrubbed with overhanging poison ivy branches. I don't have any problem as it is easy to spot and the river is always wide enough to avoid it.

Pickerel Weed
There are several Kingfishers in the area.

The wildflowers are in bloom. Pickerel Weed is still out, as is marsh marigold, pond lilies and some arrowhead (wapato). There is a grassy plant with a lot of tiny white or purple flowers that I am unfamiliar with. It grows is dense patches that can be several hundred square feet. The bees and other flying insects definitely like it as when I pause my paddling for a second, the air buzzes.

I flush a young Bald Eagle. It is an adolescent with a white head, a patchy body and a dark tail. It flies off towards the lake.

Snapping turtle - look close

Arrowhead - arrow shaped leaf and flower stalk

I'd heard that there were several beaver dams in this section. The first was not far in, but it was long out of use and submerged with a sand bar forming over it. The next two were just below the surface and the canoe slid over with ease. Only the last one required a step out, and it was only a few inches high. The scent of castoreum was around at this last dam, the beaver are near.

And then, the lake appeared, all of a sudden. Worden lake is about 1-1/2 miles across. It is shallow and exposed to wind off of Long Island Sound, the south end being forested, but low flat land. The north end, where I came from, is mostly swamp. I paddled a circle out into the lake, mostly so I could remember where the entrance is. As the entire shoreline is swamp, I needed to fix either some landmarks or an approximate location for the entrance. It turned out that if one just paddles up into the NE corner, it will be the first open channel as one turns west - easy. As I was doing that, I got to watch an Osprey and that adolescent Eagle settle a dispute. The Eagle started by taking several swoops at the Osprey, which was perched in a tree. I'm guessing that the Osprey had a fish, but it was too far off to see. After the Eagle retreated to a soaring altitude over the lake, the Osprey flew up and began to take some harassing swoops at the Eagle. After a couple minutes of settling the score, they went their separate ways.
I headed back up the Chipuxet. The only difference was that after all of that narrow twisting paddling, the beginning looked much wider that when I started. I continued up past the put-in just to see if it would be worthwhile on a future trip. It was quite nice, and with ten minutes of paddling I came to a very solid and very well built 30 inch high beaver dam. So, there is some exploring to do next time.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Reflections on Environmental Pride

I set out from Pond Brook, my most usual spot for Housatonic 4, my short hand for the fourth section of the river counting from the ocean. This is the third reservoir. It is a warm and humid day, but starting with an overcast sky that I hope will last for a few hours. 

The second Eagle
 As busy as this area can be on a summer weekend, one can be alone for quite some time mid-week or off season. I head out of the cove, passing a Great Blue Heron that is hidden under the overhanging trees along the bank. I turn down and round the point into the Shephaug arm. A mature Bald Eagle has just crossed the river and landed in a tall pine tree snag.

 Before living in Connecticut, I lived in Seattle - for a good long time. There was often a misplace pride in how environmentally friendly the people of the Pacific Northwest were. They looked at the surrounding forests and mountains and took pride, in something they had little to do with. In fact, some 35% of the land in that area is federal - either National Forest, National Park or Bureau of Land Management lands. It was great to have that land, but it wasn't really a result of the people who lived in the area. Now, Connecticut has no National Forests, and its National Parks are  a couple tiny patches of land. We do have some good National Wildlife Refuges, but no matter how anyone totals it, the percentage of federal land is minimal. So, when I first started exploring my new state, I was somewhat fascinated to find that we had quite a large amount of open forest land (the state is almost 70% forest) Some of it is state forest or state park, but some of the best places are preserves that individual towns protected. There is even one large forest that is family foundation lands open to the public, and there are many stories of people donating land to National Wildlife Refuges. 

Young Woodducks
 Anyway, that is usually what comes to mind when I paddle this route. Although there are some houses, usually well back on the hillsides, the houses are sparse and almost never occupy both sides of the river. As I round the point and head up the Shephaug, I hug the river-left bank. I paddle under a rather unperturbed Bald Eagle. This side is all protected mature forest until up past Pecker Point. Beyond that there is a house that dates to at least the mid 19th century. It kinda belongs there, having an old stone wall that disappears into the water and river front acreage that is old apple orchard. Beyond that, it is forest on both sides, all the way to the cascades. It is a fine day, I turn and head back out.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Beaver Lodge Check-up

An artist friend of mine joined me for the day. When I picked J up, I gave her the choice of looking for Little Blue Herons in a salt marsh, or going inland and checking the status of the Mattabesset beaver since they were flooded out of there lodges in early July. J opted for the Mattabesset.
My a last trip here was July 24, and the flood waters had clearly topped every one of the lodges. The high water, at least the levels that would have affected the lodges, started on July 10 and lasted until July 26, and for the first 10 days, the water level here was at least 10 feet higher than today.

Photo by J... I was busy

We put in at the usual spot, behind the lousy donut shop. The river was a average high - still in the banks, but a foot or two more than I would expect. What was unusual was the stiff current. This river rarely runs much of a current except at few known to me places where there has a slope. The recent thunderstorms must have dumped a good amount in the area upstream, as this river is only 15 miles long. I checked on this later, and the area that these two short rivers drain had received  over 2 inches of rain on the day before.

We head downstream, talking about art stuff, as I usually end up doing with other artists. But, I also start with talks about beaver sign - what lodges look like, what destroyed lodges look like, and other things like scent mounds, cut trees, peeled limbs, drags. We find a good example of a bank burrow across from the Tepee Lodges. It was probably dug as the flood waters receded, and now the entrance is exposed, so it is abandoned. But, it was a good example.  Tepee Lodge 2 is abandoned and collapsed, as it was on my last trip. There's no sign of any new construction anywhere in this area. We spot several Great Blue Herons, and a few Kingfishers and Osprey. Way up high is a noisy Hawk, but it's way too high to identify, except that call is definitely, Hawk. I note right away that J has very sharp eyes and spots distant birds with ease.

We turn up the Cogninchaug. We pass by a lodge remains - looks like a lodge that wasn't finished. The big lodge, named such because it is a BIG lodge, may or may not be in use. It seems to have survived the flood well enough and has kept its size and shape, although the exterior is not as neat as it should be. It's possible that the colony has moved back in, but I won't know until later trips. Upstream we find several drags and a couple of scent mounds.

We paddle up until we get to some blocking deadfall trees, and then turn to head out. Of note, there is a pretty good current running in the lower Coginchaug, which is as unusual as the current in the Mattabesset. 

On the way out we pause so that J can admire a few of the excellent root balls. She identifies the root ball trees as silver maples. All of these root balls have new growth trees sprouting from them, and they are all silver maples.  I hear a Bald Eagle whistling, and find it about a hundred yards off at the net point upstream from us. Most politely, it stays put as we paddle underneath. 

Note on the way that the wild rice crop in this area is as trashed as the crop in the Salmon River. Wild rice grows in shallow water and the flood water was just much too high at just the wrong time. .

Friday, August 18, 2023

Trip to an 1870 Dam

Morning came stormy with long rolling thunder, some lightning and a few spells of heavy rain. By 10:00, it cleared up and looked like it would stay that way. I headed up to O'Sullivan's Island for a short trip at the top of the tidal section of the Housatonic and Naugutuck Rivers.

Shelton/Derby Dam

The water was high when I started and there was a good down stream current. The dams may have been spilling some water after the morning's heavy rains. From the put in, I turned upstream for a paddle up to the Shelton/Derby Dam. The Dam was built about 1870. I flushed two Black Crowned Night Herons from the overhanging trees along the way. There is a lot of wildflowers in bloom on the banks.

The Shelton/Derby Locks
I cut across the river to explore the opening to the old locks. The width is not much more than a canoe length. I wonder how far upstream one could get with a steamboat in 1870. All of the upstream dams came much later and before that the river had some fast and narrow sections. From what I can tell, the dam was built just as generators were being invented. There are numerous millrace exits along the bank, old stone arched tunnels. Eventually, the dam functioned as a diversion dam for direct water power and as a hydroelectric source. Now it just has a small hydro electric powerhouse, you can't get too much electricity out of a 25 ft tall dam.


Black Crowned Night Heron at the bottom of an old millrace

I headed back and rounded the bottom of the island to head up into the Naugatuck. It has been a few years since I'd been in the Naugatuck, and now I remember why. A good current was coming out of the Naugatuck, plus an impressive amount of plastic trash. The water was also quite silty, with a sharp line in the water when I paddled from the Housatonic into the Naugutuck. I paddled up to the third bridge, wher the current was almost too fast to beat. If I remember right, there is a minor rapids at this point in lower water. The other downer about the lower Naugatuck is that it is hemmed in by tall sterile crushed rock levees - not much to look at.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


It is a cloudy and comfortable morning with a bit of sprinkles and a little wind. More or less, it is an ideal summer canoe day. I set out just short of two hours before high tide.

They're in the trees and, of course, they're in the marsh. But this morning, a lot of them are in the trees. There's a gnarly stressed oak tree just down from the refuge put-in. Birds perch there, and from a distance I can see two Egrets. I get closer and counting left to right, I get 6 Night Herons in that same tree. Then, I count right to left and come up with 9. I drift closer and recount, 12. I nose the canoe into the spartina and count again, 15. And, I bet there are 5 more that I can't see from this angle. 

One year, just because it was so crazy looking, I counted the Herons and Egrets in this quarter mile of treed shoreline, and came up with something like 130. 

But, my first stop in the marsh was, as usual, the central phragmites patch. It seemed kind of quiet as I closed in, but as I got to the far side, 15 to 20 Night Herons flushed. It was a half and half split of Yellow Crowns and Black Crowns, although accuracy when everything is moving is impossible. 

At the central phragmites patch

From the gnarly oak, I crossed over to Nell's channel by weaving through the well flooded inner passages. I saw a half dozen Willetts in the channel and a few more Night Herons. 

 The tide was now high and the current slack. It was an easy smooth paddle back up river to take out.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Up to Fowler Island

I set out from under the big highway, a close-to-home launch, for a short trip. There is a line at the launch - pickup trucks and trailers, because it takes a big truck to pull a jetski? I shoulder the canoe and walk past the line and put in on the backside of the dock. I'm gone before they notice I am there.

The tide has just passed high and there is a small downstream current. I cross the river, weaving through the bridge abutments and rounding the wood cribbing that protects the railroad drawbridge. I head into the four islands, all of the channels well flooded and easy paddling. The innermost channels are scratchy at low tide and sometimes not passable. There's not much for birds and I suppose that that has something to do with the high grass vegetation - spartina and phragmites are good for blocking one's line of sight. I see a few overhead Osprey, one mature Bald Eagle flies close by, and a few Ducks. As I reach the top of the inner two islands, I spot a pair of Cormorants that appear to have some fish cornered. A couple fish splash at the surface and one cormorant dives. It comes up with a 4 or 5 inch long fish. It flips it in the air, grabs it by the head, and swallows it head first, all in about 3 seconds. It's a neat trick.

The narrow channel between Peacock and Carting Islands
I head up, crossing the river at Peck's Mill, which is no where to be seen anymore, of course. Then up and around Fowler Island. By this time, the tidal ebb is moving along pretty good. As I turn the upper tip of the island, my speed more than doubles even though I have a headwind, which feels great on a sunny 85 degree day. I cross back over at Peck's and return through the islands. When I take out, there is still a line of trailer boaters.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Housatonic Two

I've never quite figured out this section of the river. It is a reservoir, but it is an old one, the dam holding it back being built in the 1870. It was primarily a diversion dam with canals running water to riverside mills, plus a rather small power house. Electrical generators were being invented at about the same time, so I imagine that direct water power was being used with generators being added as they became available. Had the dam been built a couple decades later, with electrical power more common, I can imagine that they would have built a much taller dam a couple miles upstream.

The reservoir is just short of 6 miles long and for most of the length, about 300 to 400 feet wide, and due to waterside development and the downstream dam, the water level can only be allowed a few feet of fluctuation. At the upper end is the 1917 Stevenson Dam, which was built for hydroelectric power. It has a substantial power house and lacks any riverside mill buildings.

I put in at the Eagle Scout access, about halfway up the reservoir. The water is high when I start out, but not unusually so. There is almost no current. And that is the hard part to figure ahead of time. This narrow reservoir runs a current quite often. It can be almost nothing, or it can turn a canoe trip into an arm breaker. (A beneficial side effect of this current is that this reservoir stays cleaner, in that it avoids the summer algae bloom yuck of the upstream Lake Zoar.) Part of the formula is how much rain we've had with the amount of power generation making up the balance. I head upriver into the best parts of this section. The current slowly increase as I progress.

Just above the shelf
The first challenge is "the shelf". Where the river makes a S-turn, there is a geologic shelf that runs bank to bank. None of this is exposed other than you can see a bit of a pitch to the river and an obvious increase in current. It takes me about 10 minutes to make it up over the shelf, the first  5 minutes is just hard paddling into the current to gain 50 yards, and the last 5 is some strategic hunting of slow water for the next 200 yards. Then, by ferrying to the river right side, I take advantage of the slow water downstream of the next bend.

The next challenge is a short class 1 rapid. When the water level is right, one can ascend this by hopping the eddies that from behind the many boulders. Today, the water is just a bit too high and the rapids is mostly washed out. I make about 75 yards by carefully studying the water and finding a few hard to see eddies. I can see the dam, but the next 200 yards is just not going to happen. I peel out into the current and make my way back.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

From O'Sullivan's

I put in from O's Sullivan's Island, which is near the upper end of the lowest section of the Housatonic. A half mile upstream, a 1870's dam marks the end of the tidal river. I haven't been in this part of the river too often, mostly because the put in was inaccessible, partly due to a never ending construction project as well as a shut down for the government to check for toxic chemicals from this formerly industrial zone. The island sits in the confluence of the Naugatuck and Housatonic Rivers, with three old mill towns, each occupying its own section of that "Y" - Shelton, Derby and Ansonia, although I am hard set to figure out what the order is.

The tide is still low when I start. There is no wind, although if there was it would be coming from the North. So, it is an easy and calm paddle down river with no wind and little current to disturb the water's surface.

By staying to river right, the east side, I paddle in cool shade. With the low water, I keep an eye peeled for remnants of the past industrial days. Great Blue Herons are the dominant bird in this calm upper section.

It's 2 miles down to the first small marina. The marina pretty much marks the end of the upper section. For whatever reason, few motorboats come above the marina, even though the river is quite navigable. I suppose most of the boat drivers set their eyes toward the sound. It is still early enough that few ships of the Mai Tai Navy have set sail.

I spot a mature Bald Eagle just about Island #7 (Wooster).  There are 2 immature Eagles and another adult in the inner channel of the island. I'm no expert, but it looks like a hunting lesson. Below the island a short ways, I spot another mature Eagle. 

I continue on to the bottom of Island #6. By this time, I notice the flood current, which is stronger than I expect given that I am about 10 miles inland. As a bonus, the wind, as predicted, has shifted to come out of the South. I turn and head back with current and wind at my back. The trip ends up being a ten miler.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Lord Cove Grand Tour

It would have been a perfect day to put in at Norwich, the high water making it possible to get up through the rocky shallows to the first dam, maybe. But, curiosity won out and I stopped at the bottom of Lord Cove - curious about how the cove fared with the flood waters of last month. I put in at Pilgrim's Landing. The weather is near perfect, again, with a gentle south breeze and temperatures in the 70's.

I go wide around Goose Island, a short stretch in the main river before returning to the cove. The light chop in the river is more than made up for by the tidal flood current and a quartering tailwind. I find a family of Mute Swans as I enter Goose Bay. They've done well, with five healthy gray cygnets in tow.

As for wildlife, it is a very quiet day - just a few Osprey, a couple Great Blue Herons, a Kingfisher, and frequent calls of well hidden Marsh Wrens. I find a muskrat lodge hidden in the cattails and see a few Marsh Wren nests, that's about it.

I paddle the "grand tour", taking in some side trips that are possible, or at least more enjoyable, with the extra water of a very high tide. I head around the cove in a clockwise direction. I do a circle through Coult's Hole, an odd circular open pond in the middle of the marsh. I remembered it having a couple entrances, but it seems to only have one during the summer. The eagle nest in the farthest arm is unoccupied, as it should be, the Eaglets off learning to hunt.

Swamp Rose Mallow
Swamp Rose Mallow - a type of Hibiscus, is blooming all throughout the marsh. The cattails are also doing well and it looks like the wild rice has escaped the fate of the flooded out crop up in Salmon Cove. I find a few Tiger Lilys near my take out - quite pretty, but not native, of course.

D comes across the street while I'm getting out. He's the publisher of an excellent magazine, "Estuary". He gave me a copy in the spring, and this time I get the summer issue. We have a good chat and find out that we have more in common than we would have expected.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

A Field Day for Wildlife

It was a snap decision, but I was overdue for a trip on the Menunketesuck River, and while the river is a little short on paddling, it can be long on wildlife, and particularly birds that I normally don't get to see.

From the put-in the river gently winds through a spartina marsh backed by a dense hardwood forest, with the marsh getting much wider as the river descends. Today must be ideal for crabbing as three small motorboats have been moving up and down the main river fishing for 3rd rate crustaceans. The river rule, "first one in sees the most wildlife" is in play and there is little to see, at first.

Glossy Ibises
Fortunately, the boats are staying in the main channel. There are two long dead end arms on either side. And, just as I reach the turn into the river left arm, a mature Bald Eagle sweeps in following the edge of the forest, definitely in hunting mode. The Eagle flushes a mix of birds from a panne below Opera Singer Point. It's 15 Glossy Ibises, 3 Snowy Egrets and a single mature Little Blue Heron. Once the Eagle is gone, most of them settle back into the panne. I head up and back on this tightly meandering arm, being able to watch those birds for much of the time.

Little Blue Herons
I head down and through the railroad bridge. The tide is near high and there is still a mild flood current. At full current, it is challenging to beat the current under this bridge. From there, I head back up.

Three adult Little Blue Herons with white fledgling
I take a shortcut, a narrow straight man made cut from the mosquito drainage days, into the river right arm. I'd seen several dark birds (either Glossy Ibises or Little Blue Herons) flush as that Eagle flew through this area - still hunting. There, at one of the bends, I add half a dozen Little Blue Herons to the count. One of them is a second year bird morphing from white to blue. Fledgling Little Blue Herons are white and look quite a bit like a Snowy Egret. When they change to blue, they have a mottled feathering of blue, white and gray. 

Second year Little Blue Heron changing from white to blue
I paddle to a small pond at the end of this arm and return via the main channel of the arm, adding another half dozen adult Little Blue Herons and two white fledglings, and 5 Glossy Ibises. 

Opera Singer Point at the trees

All told, I figure that I saw about 20 Little Blue Herons, about 20 Glossy Ibises, 5 Willets, a Yellow Legs, and a Blad Eagle.