This afternoon was ideal for a paddle up the Sudbury River to see if Fairhaven Bay was still iced over. My ears were scanning for the unmistakeable sound of a red-winged blackbird. The river was very high allowing access to areas usually off limits. Got fairly busy with trash just downstream of the Sudbury Road bridge. Looked like the remnants from the shorefishermen that drop litter all over the ground either side of the bridge . A lot of bait tubs, plastic bags, bottles and cans. A couple of unusual items were a fuel filter cartridge and a 5 liter keg of Heineken. I had to use the work platform under the bridge as a staging area to get things stored below deck.
Upstream of Sudbury Road, in the bushes, I picked up an inverted clear bottle that looks fairly old. It is a Garrett Food Products, Virginia Dare bottle 1 9/16 pts. The lettering is embossed and there is a logo that has an American eagle, arrows, and a leaf.
Approaching Fairhaven Bay, I encountered 3 mute swans? They took flight and circled back over me producing that whirring sound with their wings. Entering the bay, I saw a large group of common mergansers. I counted 60 of them lined up in the sun. Also saw a lone green-winged teal, that moved 5 ' upriver, than 5' downriver over and over again.
Landed on the small island and could see that the main channel of river is open all the way across to where the river enters at the southern end. There was actually a guy ice fishing on the west side which is very shallow under the ice.
After a 'mug up' of hot cocoa, I launched into a now cool breeze and was glad I brought my pogies and and a warm hat. A beaver gave me a tail-slap and submerged only to re-surface much closer to my boat and give me another tail slap. Deciding that it must be too early for the red-winged blackbirds, I popped in my earbuds and was listening to music on the way back. A broad-winged hawk flew overhead upstream of Sudbury Road, then just downstream of Sudbury Road, on river right were 2 male red-winged blackbirds about 100 yards apart. Turned off the music and savored the sound of their call which hasn't been heard in many a month. They told me that spring is here. Saw two more red-wings after passing under route 2. Just before route 2, near Clamshell Bank, there was a very fat beaver up on the ice busily engaged in munching on a branch. With the sound of the nearby traffic, he never heard me go by. It must have been one tasty branch!
My haul for the afternoon was 70 pieces of trash. 45 were bottles and cans the rest were plastic bags and bait tubs. YTD = 380