The rip-rap rehab job is over, all but the landscape repair and the tidying up. A rusting bucket from a front-end loader and a big roll of black filter cloth still await pickup. Meanwhile, the noisy machinery has been gone for a while and things have settled down. Time, then, for the birds to check out the changes. I saw a female Mallard pace across the newly spread dirt and give it a peck now and then, before fluttering off into the water. She was particularly interesting because she had arranged her feathers to show off her blue wing patch, called the speculum, which you normally don’t see.
Down by the water’s edge, on an old barnacle-encrusted rock at the bottom of the slope of new rocks that the workers spread there, a Willet stood pensively. I see Willets frequently in other seasons. This is the first one I’ve seen this summer. It spent some time there not making any purposeful movement. When I came back half an hour later, it was gone.