PUZZLE PIECES….

Good Morning Barbara,

Fish monitoring
Fish monitoring

Walking across the Trestle bridge last Tuesday I got sucked into watching the Watershed biologists, pulling the net carefully across the river. This activity is the signal that the annual fish monitoring is underway. As soon as some further information is available, I’ll fill you in. On that Tuesday, the river mouth was barely open, which would allow Ocean headed fish to continue on their life journey. Within the next 24 hrs. the river mouth closed and the usual Summer Lagoon conditions arrived. It’s truly remarkable to see the river water level rising so rapidly in the Estuary Stretch. To-day I couldn’t believe my eyes. The river mouth is open again!  And everybody is asking the big question: who did it? Nature or human activity?

Coast Guard in front of closed river mouth
Coast Guard in front of closed river mouth

As you well know, this week has been very busy with the river’s cousin Jessie St. Marsh and the intended maintenance work on Mon. 6/20. Many of us were stunned that the disruptive work is to be carried out right during nesting season and are working hard to raise awareness of the wildlife impact. One of my big concerns are the fledglings, who so often get overlooked in the “bird nesting” protection. After all nesting time isn’t over with fledglings leaving the nest. Many still need to be fed by the parents. Fledglings are learning to fly, which entails short flight spurts, insecure landing. The maintenance work would mean: loss of food source, disruption to parents feeding effort, little or no feeding of fledglings, who are unable to fly longer distance in order to escape disruption. I am sure that City believes they are doing their best to mitigate nesting season impact. The Park & Rec. Department as well as Public Works have a big area to take care of and without a doubt, scheduling is difficult, which is a wonderful reason to have an Environment Coordinator on City Staff. I’ll let you know what happens on Monday…Well, actually it turns out that you have to tell me about Monday since you diligently & awesomely protected the Marsh habitat all day.
On the bright side of river life, a GREEN HERON decided to cheer me up and land on the big tree trunk by 3rd St. They clearly prefer the W levee side due to vegetation overhanging the water, which enhances the chance to spear fish. Knowing how intensely shy this birds are, I stayed far away. As I focused my camera, I realized that this glittering jewel was carefully keeping an eye on me. I turned around, walked back to assure the GREEN HERON’ s peace.

GREEN HERON watching me
GREEN HERON watching me

So! okay! What is up with that? This man and his five big amplifiers have been hanging out for the last three days by the W Laurel St bridge. He invites people to late night parties at which he promises to play music at full blast. Of course I wonder from where he gets his electricity and why he is still there. It’s impossible to overlook him with his huge pile of equipment, so the Police/Rangers surely most have noticed him on their regular patrol. Is he the levee DJ?

The new Levee DJ?
The new Levee DJ?

SWALLOWS are always eager to entertain me with their flight maneuvers, which you know I adore. This year the CLIFF SWALLOW is being joined by VIOLET-GREEN and ROUGHED WING SWALLOWS between Riverside Ave. & Trestle bridge. It’s so captivating to observe how each SWALLOW species has a slight, unique variance to their flight pattern. Since I never have been able to watch all three species close together, I am taking full advantage of this opportunity until my neck complains about the craning.
River mouth puzzle greetings, jane

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