Good Morning Barbara & Fellow Nature Ramblers,
My recent state makes me sympathetic for the sailor’s spouse, who walks the shores and scans the horizon for the returning boat of her beloved. My eyes hope to detect the returning black and white migratory river fowl on the waters. It’s getting towards the end of October and our winter guests will begin to drizzle in. The EARED GREBE is usually the first to show up, but this year that tradition was interrupted by a male RUDDY DUCK, who decorated the river scene with his summer outfit.
The river mouth is closed, the useless pipe has been removed from the Main Beach, the water is rising and the Benchland grass area is closed off for maintenance reasons and the algae is forming cluster islands. These are much cherished for different reasons by the MALLARDS, AMERICAN COOTS and PIED-billed GREBES: the MALLARDS & AMERICAN COOTS mumph away on the algae and the PIED-billed GREBES anchor themselves in the greenery, which prevents that unwanted drifting. In the early mornings there will be up to 7 moored sleepers in the islands while the other 2 species gently nibble the edges away. Last week several PIED-billed GREBES shared their berth arrangement with 3 NORTHERN SHOVELERS. Obviously this time of year is pretty exciting, because you just don’t know who is parading around on our river.
And while I walk the shores I keep my eyes wide open for my beloved BUFFLEHEADS…waiting eagerly for their annual return…and on Sunday morning my anticipation ended: 2 birders told me that they had spotted 2 Buffleheads north of the Riverside Ave. bridge. After refraining from thank-you-kissing them for the great news, I rushed off to welcome ‘my‘ BUFFLEHEADS back. My heart yodeled with joy when I located them swimming on our river.
As I was walking the Trestle path the OSPREY was flying in with a fish in its talons and I instantly wished that Junko Yoshida was there to see this.
I had met her a few days earlier in the same location, because she had hoped to photograph the OSPREY catching fish. Ever since reading “Why the OSPREY?” she has been on the lookout for our white and black river fisher. She didn’t know she had a passion for raptors until she left the shores of Japan and saw them here.
Junko showed me the results of her passion, which were various exquisite big bird photos. Her river RED-shouldered HAWK pics are stunning. I just had to ask if I could post them on the blog so you all could enjoy them too. So here they are including her charming story:
It was very nice to meet you in person yesterday! Here are some red-shouldered hawk photos I took on my riverwalk last week.
At first I saw a pair of red-shouldered hawks perched on a street light pole near Pearl Street. Soon after I photographed them, a female just flew away. Typical reaction by hawks. But the male hawk just flew for 50 feet, perched on the chainlink right on the river path. A jogger passed by him really close, then another walker passed by. He just stayed there.
He did not seem to be afraid of people, not typical behavior for hawks. I point my camera and photographed him. He just looked right back at me. Got his really close face shot. I felt grateful he let me do so. He flew again for another 60 feet, then perched on another light pole. I could photograph him there, too.”
Happy BUFFLEHEAD greetings & here is to YES! on Measure M, jane