A Break in the Rain

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.  

Marbled Godwits probe the mud
Coots reveal their bright underside. Who knew?
Great Egret stalking in shallow water captured mostly small worms
Great Egret stretching its wings
Great Egret (L) and one of the Snowy Egrets ignored one another. Coots (above) ignore both of them.
Snowy Egret in flight. He does not tuck in his legs but trails them behind.
Low Tide. Looking south on east shore of park.
First Red-winged Blackbird I’ve seen this year.
Clouds and fog shroud Mt Tam and all points west.
Tree in bloom, under cedars along Spinnaker Way

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