Good Morning Dear River Friends,
Let me tell you: there is nothing like a SHARP-shinned HAWK missing you barely by a few inches to immediately abandon your early morning stupor! That is what happened to me the other day as I was walking by a dense willow bush close to the Trestle bridge. This 10-14 inch small Hawk is master of hiding and navigating tight vegetation spaces where its small prey is trying to hide. Once I realized who had scarcely missed me, I remembered looking by chance at bright yellow, penetrating eyes in the thick of my backyard bush, which is only a few blocks away from the river. It took me a few seconds to register that I was starring at a SHARP-shinned HAWK. It stayed in the bush for quiet a while and then smoothly left the interwoven branches without disturbing them. Of course I had to wonder if the river and back yard SHARP-shinned HAWK were the same…
One of the reasons I love Nature is that she can pull that spontaneous laugh out of me. That happened when I was listening to the GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW song on the levee. This migratory SPARROW species has recently arrived at the river for its winter visit. It’s great to see that they look plump and healthy, indicating that their summer home had plenty of food and that the migratory journey offered rest, spiced with plenty of meals. But I am getting side-tracked ~ back to why I had to laugh: a juvenile GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW was singing the first part of its characteristic species tune and then stopped as if trying to remember the other part. After a short silence the young bird made another attempt with the same result. Then another GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW in a neighboring bush happened to know the second part to the song. The first one listened and then tried to repeat it, but the additional melody would get stuck half way. The other one repeated it and waited for the juvenile’s response. Listening to this teaching interchange was so sweet and funny that I had to laugh with amusement. BTW: GOLDEN-crowned SPARROW know the first part of their tune and then create their own unique songs by imitating more experienced singers.
If you have been to the river I know you’ll agree that this year the water is sprouting with a large number of PIED-billed GREBES! It has been at least 3 years since we had so many decorating the river. This is a good sign that several successful breedings took place in the river reeds. I know that this news will make Barbara Riverwoman happy, who has a strong bond with them.
Because I love the San Lorenzo River I am always interested in related Nature topics. So to-day allow me to share the themes that lifted my soul:
A birder compadre sent a link to a radar map that showed how many thousands of migratory birds fly at night, which most of them do to avoid exhausting heat and predators. He also reminded us to reduce night light, which lures birds off their migratory track.
A couple of weeks ago a river friend from India told me she was celebrating that evening with her family the Hindu Holiday in honor of Nature. What a wonderful Holiday ~ I told her I’ll join her by lighting a candle at my house that evening.
A reader sent the news that the County’s Mill Creek dam had been removed, setting the water free. I just loved that this was achieved by multiple organizations working together on behalf of the environment!!
Then there was the relieving report that the previous government’s decision had been overturned: No! it was not okay to kill birds due to incompetent project management. Obviously the past President needs to meet my river friend from India…
Thanks to Nancy from the Valley Women’s Club I learned that there is a National Estuary Week that was re-instated. So let’s celebrate the San Lorenzo River Estuary in the week of September 19-26th in 2022!
These topics make me realize that Nature is loved by so many people and together we weave the web that nourishes her.
The river is always ready to welcome you ~ jane