Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sudbury River - Rt. 62 to Weir Hill & Return

Early this morning, a little after sunrise, I launched onto the Sudbury River and headed upstream as the last remnants of tropical storm Hanna were racing off towards Canada's Maritime Provinces. Clearing skies were rapidly moving in from the southwest and winds were almost calm. The river's surface was like glass.
Arriving at Heath's Bridge (Sudbury Road), I found that the higher water level resulting from the deluge of rain, gave me access to a new crop of trash. My deck very quickly became decorated with glass/plastic bottles, bait tubs, fishing line, and coffee cups. I left this spot with 38 empty containers.
About half-way between the bridge and Marth's Point, on river right, I saw two small deer standing in the sun on a Conantum home's lawn. A little further along was one of those small herons that have been showung up recently. I'm fairly sure they are green herons because of the chestnut color of their necks
At Fairhaven Bay, I had a little breakfast on the water and enjoyed having the whole bay to myself.
Leaving the bay and continuing upriver, I encountered two of the small green herons flying in circles overhead and emitting their single note call. In flight they look fairly graceful until they slow down. At that point they look all wobbly until they regain speed. These herons were seen both downstream and upstream of Lee's Bridge.
As I approached the mouth of Pantry Brook, I saw an unusual site. Two herons standing fairly close to each other. At first I though they were both great blue herons, but soon saw that one was a great egret. White as the driven snow, with a yellow bill and black legs. Perhaps the egret came along with the tropical storm? No sooner had I put the binoculars away then an osprey flew by from the direction of Weir Hill.
After turning around at Weir Hill, I headed downstream and entered Pantry Brook to check out the rather loud sound from water pouring over the dam. Perched in the dead tree to the right of the sheet-piling constructed dam, was an osprey and he allowed me to take several photos of him with my waterproof drugstore camera. Hopefully the pictures will reflect his magesty and not have him appear as small as a sparrow. A belted kingfisher buzzed him, but he didn't look too concerned.
While I was stopped at Pantry Brook, a band of clouds moved across the sky and the wind shifted to the northwest. The air moving in on the breeze was nice and fresh. A welcome change from yesterday's very heavy air.
Heading downriver, I encountered a musquash, swallows, some kind of sandpipers, blue-winged teals, a smallish hawk that may have been a marsh hawk (white band above tail), a larger hawk (not a red-tailed), and a turkey vulture. A veritable smorgasborg of wildlife!
At my takeout location, once again under sunny skies, my trash count for the day was 40 empty containers bringing my YTD total to 1783.

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