Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Stirring Assabet

The look and feel of spring was enjoyed on the Assabet River in Stow, MA today.  I launched at Magazu's Landing and paddled between the fordway below Gleasondale and Crow Island's northernmost tip.   Ice remained in most of the coves and also blocked passage on Fort Meadow Brook.  Recent rainfall and snow-melt had the river chugging along nicely.

A wide variety of ducks were seen: mallards, wood ducks, common mergansers, and one pair of hooded mergansers.  Also seen were robins, tree swallows, a belted kingfisher, and large numbers of red-winged blackbirds.  The blackbirds were congregated on a point downstream of Gleasondale and chatting up a storm amongst themselves...perhaps catching up on how they spent their winter vacations.

Quite a few musquashes were seen as well...
...and one mink was encountered.
This unfortunate mallard had become a meal for some predator...

All of its feathers had been removed.  Oddly, the head was left intact.  At first I thought it was the work of a hawk, but I would later see a mature bald eagle just below Sudbury Road.

These common mergansers were sticking together in the area where the eagle was seen...

It seemed odd not to encounter any fly nymphs out on the water.  They seem to be running late for some reason this year.

Temperatures were in the upper 40's and, when out of the breeze, the sunshine had a warming feel. 

My trash haul posed during a very brief shower...
There were 23 recyclable containers (8 redeemable) and 42 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish such as Styrofoam, nip bottles, and plastic bags.  YTD = 385

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