Saturday, February 3, 2018 720 am 46 degrees
Moments after I walk onto the bridge, I hear the chortle of a Great Blue Heron beneath me. It flies east under the bridge and settles on a nearby riverbank out of sight. Often arriving at 630 am, by 730, The Great Blue Heron has already surveyed one section of riverbank. I hear it chortle as it raises up to move to another site.
Chicken call from the neighborhood, “Time to wake up everyone!” A group of six Canada Geese fly over the bridge from the east in traditional V formation, all honking in unison. They fly about 100 yards farther, make a U-turn to fly back over my head, fly east and vanish. A single bird is perched on the bridge frame over my head. It is quietly watching. Far too large to be tiny bird I used to hear every morning singing, “Ti Too! Ti Too!” A chorus of hidden birds begins. I hear the bird that sounds like a calliope and many other bird calls I cannot identify.
Standing on the bridge I hear the female Mallard quacking once again in the distance. (See video posted in “Morning Pandemonium” on January 14) She quacks as she swims. I continue to wonder what she is saying? Is she paddling in rhythm to her own voice? Since I cannot speak duck, I may never know. An Egret flies in from the west. A short time later, another flies in and they resume their low and elegant flight over the river to the east as a pair.
Arriving at the boat launch ramp, I see the female duck leading a line of ducks swimming upriver. Her quacking continues and I continue to hear the sound of her voice until it fades away in the distance. I walk back up to Fair Oaks Bridge. As I leave the river for the morning, I nearly miss two turtles out sunbathing.