Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Where There's a Willet, There's an Osprey
The end of July saw us at the salt marsh quite a bit. Because of beds of aptly named razor clams by the trail, I only like to go there at high tide, when the dogs are less likely to slash up their paws. Fortunately, it seems as if every time I’ve checked a tide table, high tide and sunny weather were predicted at exactly the time I wished to head out there.
A large part of the trail crosses the marsh on a raised concrete causeway. The dogs happily slog and swim their way out through the grass and the channels, and then they sprint back along the causeway when they’re called.
Snowy Egret is one of many wading birds that frequent the marsh during the day and roost nearby it at night. When he first saw the dogs, his first tactic was to freeze, which worked surprisingly well. A flapping bird is an object of religious devotion for a Golden Retriever, but a still one might as well be made of grass.
He did eventually spook and fly off a few minutes later, to my relief, since I’d hate to have one of the dogs successfully injure a heron, which they’d no doubt do if they managed to catch him.
(Photo credit: Ben Taylor)
Willet from an e-mailed photo. Though I have a great field guide on my phone and an even better one on my bookshelf, it’s often more fun and less work to test my dad’s mettle.