Spring is in the air!
Yesterday’s frontal passage brought rain and clearing skies. The morning glow had a pink tint as the sun peaked up through a mackerel sky. A full moon was still visible in the morning light as one heavenly luminary began to set and the other began to rise. Time to go to “work”. Old Man River spots me coming and takes wing. I have set up a bird cam on the pier hoping to catch him unaware. Will let you know how successful we are.
I sit up my blind on the pier and just listen to the marsh. A cool wind blows from the west and makes me thankful not only for the day but the warm taste of my coffee. The tide is still rising but nearing its peak for the morning. Few birds are about. My trusty Tricolored Heron soon lands in his favorite fishing hole only to be disturbed by the pesky Snowy Egret that seems to follow him wherever he goes. They size each other up and realizing the other is not leaving, begin to peer into the water for signs of fish. Soon they are rewarded with some small minnows and seem to tolerate each other the remainder of the morning. The dark blue heron and white egret give me opportunity to practice on my exposure controls. I hear a splash to my left. As I peer out the blind I see the inquisitive eyes of a Pied Billed Grebe emerging from the marsh grass. Unalarmed by my presence, it continues to swim by and soon dives again into the marsh. A short time later it emerges on the other end of the channel with a friend. From the looks of the two they are a mating pair. The male has a very distinctive vertical black stripe on its beak and a bright white eye ring found during the mating season. On one of these soon to come spring mornings I hope to find a pair with baby grebes nearby. A Bald Eagle also appears in the far distance soaring high but much to far away to photograph. That is about all the close encounters to report this morning. As I walked up the pier Old Man River, the illusive Great Blue Heron (and what appears to be a lady friend) takes wing over the marsh in a beautiful display of low level flying.
My Editor in chief spotted a Roseatte Spoonbill right out in front of the pier yesterday also. This is one of my favorite birds and a sure sign of spring on the marsh. Although I cannot confirm her report yet I will be watching. In the meantime all you folks up north think spring. The March winds will blow it in before you know it. I would keep a watch on the eastern sky too! Be blessed today. Harry