Sunday, February 19, 2018 645 am 47 degrees
Under partially cloudy skies, I hear the female Mallard quacking without end. I hear her voice every time I visit Fair Oaks Bridge.
Two men launch a rowboat into the American River at the boat ramp and float under the bridge and downriver to the west. The air feels warm outside at first, until I begin to feel the chill on my fingers.
Today the American River looks like a wildlife flyway. So many are flying in and away.
Usually I see one Egret flying in. Today I see a pair!
The Egrets fly under the bridge just above the surface of the water, land on the riverbank at the foot of Fair Oaks Bluffs (the north, sunny side of the river) and quickly fly back in the direction where they had come. I hear the chortle of an unseen Great Blue Heron. A dozen seagulls fly west – high for the long run – and three Mallards soar under the bridge.
I hear the female Mallard still quacking in the distance. Canada Geese fly in full animated with their loud honking to the boat launch ramp and then fly under the bridge. One settles on a concrete pillar supporting the bridge directly in front of me. It looks at me and whispers. More ducks arrive. The Egrets fly off again.