river watching…

Good Afternoon Barbara & Nature Lovers,

HAPPY, CHIRPY, CHEERY BIRTHDAY wishes to you, Barbara. As you mentioned, you celebrated your 80 times circling around the sun and now have many new adventures ahead of you. I know that your vim and vigor will allow you to sail right into life’s amazing fullness and bring you joy.

‘old’ river mouth

Will our ‘old’ San Lorenzo River mouth ever return? Or has the high & wide berm established itself permanently there? Even last week’s high tide waves weren’t able to put a dent into the berm. Remember that last year Coastal Commission granted Public Works request to build a berm by the Main Beach to prevent flooding due to summer lagoon and channelize the river mouth towards the Wharf? The ‘new’ river mouth closed only a few times last year thus creating lagoon condition. From my lay-person observations, the new berm seems to have allowed more sand build up in front of the ‘old’ river mouth. Has the added Main Beach berm added to the widening of the Main and Seabright Beaches? The ‘new‘ river mouth is flatter, from which the grateful seals benefit since catching fish is easier in shallow water. And of course I curious if that will effect the steelhead count…

current ‘old’ river mouth

Last Saturday Nature offered me a rare, exquisite treat: our river female OSPREY was taking a bath across from the Trestle trees. Usually the OSPREY couple prefers bathing behind the Mike Fox skateboard park, but that was occupied by 2 fishermen. So she had to make do with this new cleaning location, which required a lengthy security check of her surroundings. Once she deemed herself safe she drank some water (was she checking the water quality?), then she dipped her head in, decided she wanted more depth, waded into deeper water, dunked head and neck several times, shook the water off and rechecked her surrounding carefully. Safety concluded, she waded in further & plunged her whole body under water, surfaced, shook her wings to send the water drops flying. This bathing ceremony lasted quite a while, then she took to the air while shaking off the water and landed on a Trestle tree branch to let the sun dry her. I wished all of you could have witnessed this spectacular event, because it was magnificently impressive: the strength of her body was visibly vibrating with a majestic life force and her strong flapping wings illustrated her undeniable powerful mastery of the sky. The rest of my day was soaked with joy that I saw the OSPREY’s bathing ritual.

take off…

Frankly I don’t recall seeing such a steady, big presence of COMMON GOLDENEYE on the San Lorenzo River as this winter season. There have been large flocks in previous years, but they haven’t stayed for any length of time. This year the average beak count has been in the forties on the lower section. The BUFFLEHEAD flocks on the other hand have been fairly small and more skittish this season. They keep diving and surfacing at any perceived threat: a COOT gets too close to the flock and down they go, a gull comes in for the landing and down they go. Their skittish behavior uses up their energy, which they have to replenish with food and rest, but that is difficult due to their jittery conduct. The BUFFLEHEAD crowd clears their favorite area below and above the Riverside Ave. bridge when the anglers show up for 3 days a week. Overall the anglers have been disappointed by their steelhead catches, which were have been small in body size and quantity.

big flock of COMMON GOLDENEYE

May Nature’s beauty kiss your eyes and soul, jane

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