Good Morning Barbara,
The severe weather truly had put a kink in my usual levee walks and I didn’t realize how much I had missed them until I stood on the Trestle bridge and looked at the river. A peaceful, soul expanding feeling slowly surfaced and spread joy through me, because I knew nature was inviting me to go on an adventure. The dimension and quality of these adventures always depends on me since nature lives her cornucopia life continuously. It comes down to the crux of how much can I open up to see all the nuances and treats nature is eternally displaying.
My sense of bird balance got restored when I saw 3 COMMON GOLDENEYES intermingle with 4 MALLARDS and 3 BUFFLEHEAD foraging close by. This meant that at least some migratory river guests had returned. The little SPOTTED SANDPIPER was busy chasing an intruder away and after accomplishing the mission successfully, it resumed its dipping foraging walk. The SNOWY EGRET, not pleased by the close proximity of the WESTERN gull, charged at the gull with raised head gear screeching its discontent at high volume and managed to relocate the flustered gull. Obviously river life was lively and busy.
I so appreciate your encouraging support for the “ Estuary Re-Vegetation Restoration Project”. You’ll be happy to know that you can join us for 2 hours on Sat. the 18th to continue the restoration Project, which received some good omens on the kick-off day: I had arrived early and watched my season’s first NORTHERN ROUGH-winged SWALLOW re-arranging its migratory feathers on the above wire. The KINGFISHER returned through out the day to its favorite wire spot, examined us for a while until it had to dash downstream to keep the other nervy KINGFISHER in line, who repeatedly landed on a bush too close for the wire acrobat’s comfort.
According to my inquest we lost aprox.100 Eucalyptus trees in the storms as well as some Cypress. This is a lot of tall trees, which are going to be dearly missed by our bigger birds. They need the Eucalyptus for nesting and as high perches for their survival hunting. The bees and smaller birds lost blossom food source as well. So we gardeners have to help out and you’ll find some helpful gardening tips in the Santa Cruz Bird Club “ Albatross” Newsletter.
A couple of days ago I was watching a GLAUCOUS-winged gull grapple with a long, light colored piece of “something”. For the world of me I couldn’t figure out what it was. At first I thought it was a Gopher Snake, but it wasn’t the right color. I suspect it was a Lamprey. The “something” piece turned out to be quite a challenge for the gull, who resorted to dropping rocks on it, which proved fruitless. Suddenly the gull ducked close to the ground and I heard the odd RED-shoulder HAWK call mixed with an other sound and right then the Buteo cleared the bend, clutching an AMERICAN COOT, objecting his miserable fate. A flustered flock of PIGEONS exploded into every direction with the result that a few almost flew into the RED-shoulder HAWK, who was on a mission to transport its prey upstream. Do you think the 2 HAWKS we have been seeing circling over the river, mated and have a nest upstream? Isn’t it just incredible that we have this rich, undiluted Nature life right in the middle of our town? I told my observation to the AmeriCorps Members and one remarked: “ …and probably nobody notices it”, which brings me full circle: Nature tells her incredible story all the time and invites us to listen and observe. Each and everyone one of us is welcome to graciously accept her generous offer.
Last not least I send you my adieu wish: May the 2030 Park & Rec. Master Plan revision include a well thought out Environment Chapter. jane