San Lorenzo River rewards my change of plans…

Good Morning Dear Nature Visitors,

sediment build up at San Lorenzo River mouth…

Yesterday I had plans to briefly check the river point and then have a serious removal talk with a few, feisty weeds at the Mike Fox Park restoration site. It became obvious that my intentions were on shifty grounds when my pace slowed down to watch a woman weed along the cliff at the Seabright Beach restoration project. To be honest, I was hoping that she was the keeper of a magic weeding secret. Her bent back, tool in one hand pulling grass out with the other was proof that there are no magic, secret methods~ only tedious, yet therapeutic labor gets the job done.

woman weeding at the Seabright Beach restoration site…

I got further waylaid by noting the shocking disappearing cliff above the Seabright Beach. The last storm and rains didn’t just nibble on the slopes. They had a royal  erosion feast, which narrowed the spine of the ridge conspicuously. Walking to the river overlook, I was taken back by the sediment build up in the riverbed and the shores. This development wasn’t visible, because for months we had a high water level until the storm breached the sandbar. Or did the 2 trench diggers succeed with their breach deed the day before the storm? We had a very short exchange when they came back up, because I wasn’t interested in listening to the guy raving how ‘cool it was to watch the water gush out’  and they weren’t interested in hearing that the fish population suffers from the rapid drop of the water level. …now  back to the current water level, which is very low and the flow is slow. After the rains the mountain water usually keeps draining into the river, elevating the water height with its strong flow. So this present situation is surprising, because the river resembles the late summer conditions when the winter water supply gets exhausted. I had enough with flustering surprises and looked for something familiar. The river residing PEREGRINE in the Trestle trees fulfilled my wish and required a closer view from the Trestle bridge. My walk towards the river was escorted by an  amazing amount of SNOWY EGRETS, lining the shores and the water. One of them caught my attention, because it kept hopping around on the Trestle rocks. Upon closer observation it became obvious that the white rascal was chasing a harassed bird, who would fly off and come back.

SNOWY EGRET chasing the WHITE WAGTAIL…

They were far away so I couldn’t identify the bird and guessed the SNOWY EGRET was after the poor SPOTTED SANDPIPER. Then, just before its last take off, I saw the white belly for a split second. I played with the thought that it was the WHITE WAGTAIL, who- much to my regret- I still hadn’t sighted at the San Lorenzo River. Suddenly the man across the cliff started pointing his camera at the rocks. I suspected that the little bird had returned and that it was the WHITE WAGTAIL. Instantly I pilgrimaged towards the hoped for  sight of the river rarity. Once closer I saw that it was indeed the WHITE WAGTAIL. The photographer was very patient with my lengthly outpour of happiness over my lucky WHITE WAGTAIL moment. Coming from England he is used to seeing lots of them on the British shores and wondered if the little traveller was lonely. We 2 immigrants watched ‘our migrant comrade’ busily foraging and noticed that it behaved quite at ease and it actually seemed content to be free of its species’ food competition. Since the photographer was the youngest of 9 kids, he decided that the WHITE WAGTAIL was thanking its luck stars to roam on its own. After I enjoyed 2 dawdling hours that blew my plans to smithereens I opted out of visiting the feisty weeds. I know they don’t mind waiting…

my 1st sighting of WHITE WAGTAIL at the San Lorenzo River…

I am leaving you with this good news: Hurray for President Biden! He delayed the previous administration rule to gut the  Migratory Bird Treat Act, which had been announced on the National Bird Day

BARROW’S GOLDENEYE- photo credit ‘allaboutbirds.org’

.We had an other rarity on the river: a BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, who has a more sloppy head than the COMMON GOLDENEYE. Since they prefer lakes and shallow water, we hardly ever see them in the river. They breed in remote upper Canada, making it difficult to estimate their population.

My wish for you is that Nature visits you~ jane 

2 thoughts on “San Lorenzo River rewards my change of plans…

  1. We see goldeneyes on Santos’s Pond at East Glenwood Preserve. They are too far away to discern between Barrow’s and Common. Now I am curious! Their calls are different, so I will hang around to listen next trip there.

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    1. Hi Donna, it’s always kind of tricky to tell them apart, because that the Common & the Barrow’s Goldeneyes love to dive. That can be crazy-making when you try to get a good look @ them. The good news is that once you see the difference then it’s easier to tell them apart. I wish you a Barrow’s that stays on the surface long enough for id-ing~ happy birding~jane

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