Friday March 10, 2017, 645 am 51 degrees
Roosters gather to sing throughout Fair Oaks Village. The warm temperature wakes them early. The American River is as calm as it can be. I see few cyclists or walkers. Two Biddleheads swim and dive. A single duck swims.
The pigeons dance in circles overhead, to land on the bridge’s overhead frame. Pigeons gather to eat bits of pastry left on the deck. They peek at crumbs and quickly fly back to their station. The tiniest hint of a breeze or movement is their signal to fly away. Moments later, they return in mass and take to the air almost as soon as they land. Pigeons land on the deck to eat, fly away, eat, fly away over and over again.
With a loud flutter of wings, a group of a dozen pigeons fly off at one time – lands on the rails, and the bridge frame. I wonder what they could be thinking? Who else will come and take away their food? Are they naturally afraid of slight movements?
Birds chatter like machine gun fire. A lone goose arrives honking and flies under the bridge, as if speeding through a red light. An Egret flies in to the southwest bank. Their usual spot on the riverbank eroded away from the storm. If Egrets arrive at all, they gather to eat and rest on a sandbar some 50 yards to the west. A spot they may need to share with human visitors. Today I see several of them stand guard and fly in circles to an unseen hiding place.
The END sign is gone – floated away to some other end on the river. A dozen uniformed cyclists rumble by. A pair of Egrets fly under the bridge from the west. They split at the boat launch ramp. They fly too quickly to photograph.