Good Morning Barbara and Fellow Nature Passion-eers,
Was that the beginning of a roof top romance? Will the romance result be a nest? Could it be that I was watching a tradition in the making? As you know, I have been hoping for the return of the KILLDEER couple. They have nested for the last 3 years by the Riverside Ave. bridge. 2 years in a row in the Fruit Orchard, which puts Andy in a bind, because it makes work there impossible and he enjoys being the feather-puff godfather. Wistfully I would listen to reports of nesting KILLDEERS upstream, missing that sight downstream. So when I heard that unique KILLDEER call, I froze in place and scanned the grounds all around me. Then the call came again from higher up. Lifting my eyes to the roof top across the street, I saw the KILLDEER watching me, matching my frozen stance. It made me laugh to catch the 2 of us behaving the same way. Just then the other KILLDEER appeared over the roof top, walking by the frozen one with a swashbuckling attitude, who snapped into action, following the promising tail swagger around the corner. Their lively roof top activity looked nest promising.
Before I tell you about these next situations a brief nutshell explanation is in order: my love for Nature is a passion, which is a willingness and a free choice to surrender to the emotions that my passion creates, which often amounts to translating Nature’s communication language to fellow human beings. Therefore I am no longer mortified to find myself yelling down the river point cliff at a young woman and a State Ranger on top of my lungs. Both were lingering over a drift wood pile, sending a KILLDEER into high panic. The agitated bird tried to lure the humans away from the nest: repeatedly running a short distance with dragging wing while vocalizing, stopping, collapsing into the sand with wide out spread wings. Neither human picked up on the KILLDEER’s request for needed space. When the young woman understood my translation of the bird’s communication she waived and left. The Ranger communicated that he would leave after carefully removing a big log on which a MEADOW LARK was perched, who waited until the tractor gripped the log before it flew off. 4 fledglings peeled out of a close by bush and followed the parent up the cliff. When things finally settled back down, the MEADOW LARK family and KILLDEER returned to pursue their lives. My next encounter was with 2 young men, who were in the search of a board that one of them had thrown into Jeb’s wonderful restoration project. I know the hard work that went into creating that luscious native vegetation and so had to ask them to please not step on the plants. One of them was really understanding, apologized and got his friend to stop breaking the bushes and they left.
Next was the man in the tent at the bottom of the river bank. His mistake was camping next to the bush where I had seen the SONG SPARROW disappear with food in its beak. This bird is an ever elusive ground, low bush nester. Now it was flying agitated back and forth. This called for pointing out that camping was inappropriate next to a SONG SPARROW nest. That news didn’t go over great and we had a heated discussion, which was well worth it, because he packed up & left. Later I saw the SONG SPARROW dash into the bush with food in its beak.
Well, the new Trestle path is open and people are using it. It is wider, which seems to create the Goldfish bowel effect: Goldfish rapidly grow to take up the extra bowl space. Single filing is a thing of the past~now people enjoy walking, biking next to each other, taking up the extra space, resulting in the prior dilemma: passing is difficult. Life has a curious sense of humor: the men were dismantling the safety structure, which was installed to prevent construction materials from falling into the river. One beam decided that the precaution didn’t apply to safety material, got loose and plunged into the river…I welcome the return of the PEREGRINE FALCON, the OSPREY, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, WARBLERS, SONG SPARROW to the Trestle tree area.
Passion greetings to you all, jane