17 November 2009

Avian interlude

(It's crappy out there today, but 'tweren't so yesterday afternoon when I'd planned on penning this piece.)

A hazy Monday afternoon. A clear, cool breeze brushes the beach when I'm finally able to peel my arse from the office chair and step out for a post-prandial saunter. Choppy waves are bereft of pattern. The everpresent low grumble of constantly churning water strums the bass as stereophonic trebles from breaking and running waves roll from the left ear to the right.

A dozen gulls at the mouth of the creek become two hundred in a manner of minutes, small flocks diving in from points west. A small California gull coasts the rippling creek from the estuary to the breaking edge of the closest wave, flapping off just in time to return to the estuary and ride the creek out again.

A single seal glides through the narrow channel from the calm estuary to the tempestuous surf, popping up just once to make sure I'm holding to my spot on the bank.

In the estuary, six grebes are joined by a double-crested cormorant for an afternoon of quiet fishing.

An osprey flaps silently above me, his black masked eyes to the ground, heading southward into the wind.

Loud twittering killdeer frantically pace the mostly dry south slough channel.

A great blue heron knows I'm approaching before I get there. He honks away on slow, lumbering wings trusting the cows on the other side of the slough more than me.

The neighborhood northern harrier posts up high above the alders, twirling softly, soundlessly.

A pair of male mallards cruise overhead. Amateur birders everywhere applaud their bright green heads.

Least sandpipers prance and dip in the exposed muddy floor of the draining creek.

An artfully camouflaged Wilson's snipe traces the grassy edges of the south slough. His mate (her mate?) emerges briefly from a hole carved into the deep grassbed before disappearing back inside. Alas, the time has come for me to do the same.

1 comment:

Ernie Branscomb said...

Glad be see that you are being more "regular" in your posting.

You make me long for a trip to the beach.