Feeling imprisoned by rainstorms, I took advantage of the lull this afternoon to walk in the park. Heavy clouds blocked out all hints of sun, and foghorns moaned in the distance. But the tide, as it happened, lay as low as I’ve ever seen it here. Low tide is feast time for many birds. In the North Basin, near the Virginia Street extension, a couple of dozen Marbled Godwits pecked at the mud, coating their pink beaks with dark. Walking along, I counted no fewer than eleven Snowy Egrets near the shore, more than I’ve ever seen in this location. About halfway northbound on the eastside path, I saw a Great Egret hunting in the shallow water. While I was watching, he mostly bagged little worms. Scores of Coots busied themselves with their heads down, showing off their white belly feathers. Approaching the northwest corner, I heard a familiar bird call, and then saw its maker: the first Red-winged Blackbird of the season. He may just be a scout, reporting conditions back to the flock. It may be weeks before they show up en masse. Moving back to my starting point along the cedars that line Spinnaker Way, I came across a bushy tree in fragrant bloom. Sun or no sun, Spring can’t be stopped.
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