Wednesday, July 30, 2008

salt marsh, take 2

Last weekend my family drove in from Rhode Island for a visit, and on Saturday afternoon I was able to drag/convince/trick my mom and youngest sister into going for a walk at the Marine Park salt marsh because of the "cool sea breeze". It was really nice to take them to a place where I feel a deep and personal sense of peace/joy and to share with them the experience of seeing birds. And the good birds came out to flaunt their stuff for my loved ones, which made me feel pretty cool, as though perhaps I haven't chosen the nerdiest possible hobby. We saw a lot of great egrets, one of which was edged out of its fishing territory by a great blue heron coming in for a landing. We also saw a green heron standing very still on a piling, lots of laughing gulls, and two or three birds that may have been yellowlegs(es). How do you pluralize that? But the real excitement started when Chrissy spotted a black skimmer, and then another, until four of them were flying over the water in this one small area near the nature center. It was my first time seeing that action for which these birds are named; beaks open, they zoom really low with their lower mandibles dipped in the water. I saw one come up from skimming posture with a thin worm-like thing in its mouth. The bird didn't eat it or put it down right away, and my sister suggested it might be using the worm to bait bigger fish. Doubtful, but a neat idea. I didn't get any good bird pictures, but I got fresh air, exercise, quality time with my loved ones, and a couple of great sky shots.

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