Good Morning Barbara and fellow Nature Compadres,
I love all my contemplations that get triggered during the levee walks. It turns my river visits into adventurous explorations. All too often there is just one more sighting that seduces me to stay a little longer than planned. Frankly I don’t have much willpower to resist the call of Nature, which means that the dishes pile up in my sink since there are just so many hours in the day…
What is the male BUFFLEHEAD doing on the river? The BUFFLEHEADS males migrated over 2 weeks ago and since then I haven’t seen feather or beak of a male. But there he was: paired up with a female. Did they arrive together or did he choose one of the 2 left behind spinsters? The last remaining COMMON GOLDENEYE kept her eyes on the couple from a safe distance.
Well, I am once again on my crusade to save the survivors from the San Lorenzo Urban River Plan planting. As I mentioned before, these feisty natives are determined to buck repeated radical mowing and claim their right to live. Right now they are lush, green and spreading with vim and vigor. So keep your fingers crossed that my flag markers don’t keep disappearing, that my weeding circles around them help, that alerting maintenance staff to their location will save-guard their growth future.
The two RED-throated LOONs are still on the river, obviously avoiding the long trip up north. The red ‘getting-ready-to-mate’ marking on one of the birds is getting brighter and more distinct each day. So far that exterior signal hasn’t sparked the interior flame to migrate to the breeding grounds. Instead the RED-throated Loon lallygags on the water, takes a rest on the shore by the Riverside Ave. bridge, hangs out with other LOON, forages a little, evidently soaking up the pleasant Estuary life.
What great fun that was to introduce over 80 Mission Hill High Middle school students to the San Lorenzo River birds! Kathleen Crocetti’s art class students will be doing a mosaic bird mural along the river path across from Trader Joe’s. In preparation for the project she asked me to give a presentation to 3 classes about the river birds to be topped off with levee field trips. None of the students had ever birded before and two other birders joined me to open the students’ eyes to river’s bird cornucopia. It was really special to watch how a bird would leave one student cold while an other one was thrilled to high heaven by the bird.
This Sunday morning two regular levee visitors told me that they had heard Peregrine calls in the Trestle trees as an other one flew in, briefly perched and then 3 PEREGRINES flew out of the tree. One looked like a juvenile, who just might be the result of an earlier PEREGRINE rendezvous. PEREGRINES nest on cliff and building ledges. That made us wonder if the offspring had fledged somewhere nearby on the cliffs.
The next time you drive by the T-intersection of Ocean St. & San Lorenzo River Blvd. be sure to check out the progress we made along the rock wall thanks to the 6 Downtown Street Team(DST). They joined the Estuary Project last Saturday to clear the weeds around previous year’s natives planting. The members worked hard and did a mighty fine job as you can see.
So when you see the yellow shirted DST group on the levee, be sure to thank them for helping change the river image.
Thank you so much for your kind words for my 2018 Volunteer Award that came my way unexpectedly. To-day I just might get teary-eyed when I receive that honor…
Sending you spring river chirps, jane