Good Morning Barbara and riveted River Friends,
The low shrubs and the tall Eucalyptus trees, lining the path to the Trestle bridge, mirror the desolate path over the river since the area was fenced off. Not only was the life rhythm changed for us humans, who regular used the path, but clearly our frequent feathered critters are effected as well.
The little SPOTTED SANDPIPER, who usually could be seen foraging under the bridge along the Cliff shore, has been absent shortly after the barrier appeared. The Trestle trees have been void of the once familiar sight of the OSPREY, RED-shouldered, RED-tailed HAWK and PEREGRINE FALCON. The SONG, White-crowned, GOLDEN-crowned SPARROWS are not flitting through the path trees and bushes. Missing are twitters of the busy YELLOW-rumped WARBLERS and BUSHTITS, who used to harvest their food there. Nor has the TOWNSEND’S WARBLER frequented that area. The ANNA’s HUMMINGBIRD in residence is still present and feeds on the recently opened Eucalyptus blossoms. There are less COMMON GOLDENEYES and BUFFLEHEADS under the bridge and its vicinity. I find this bird behavior change fascinating, because the path construction hasn’t even started yet. So far the only work activity has been across the river on the Boardwalk side. I am surprised to observe that the erection of the fence triggered a modified bird movement, which I expected when the heavy construction work gets activated on the bridge. Are the repeat foraging guests already sensing, responding to the onslaught on their habitat? That wouldn’t surprise me, because I believe that wildlife is much smarter than we give them credit for. For the last 2 weeks I have noticed that the shy SANDERLING flock is preferring the cliff shore under the bridge, which they previously avoided. They seem to relish the lack of traffic noise from above. Yesterday I watched the flock work their way slowly upstream towards the bridge with the SPOTTED SANDPIPER in tow. The tag-along drew the line in the shore as they got close to the bridge. The little shorebird turned around and commenced with its perpetual solitary foraging. Isn’t nature riveting?
The early morning hazy ether suddenly carried TERN screeches to the river point. I couldn’t locate them because the haze made their white bodies invisible above the water. Finally I orientate myself on their hunting water splashes. This allowed for brief glimpses of their bodies ascending, but I was never able to see their markings clearly, so I have no idea if they were ELEGANT, FOSTERS or CASPIAN TERNS. After a few minutes their screeches and dive splashes stopped abruptly. was their quick, ghost-like appearance was just a brief stop-over on their migratory journey?
After the storms, when the ocean was still showing off their turbulent waves, a WESTERN GREBE decided to check out the comparatively calm river water. Two others arrived at the same idea and for the next few days the 3 of them enjoyed their river stay. I am always amazed how long they can dive and they never ever re-surface where you expect them to show up again.
I couldn’t believe it when I saw a CROW with a branch in it’s beak! It’s a sign that spring is in the air, nesting is on the horizon and new little additions will open up our hearts to life’ s miracles.
So until next time enjoy watching the magic of spring arrive, jane