Community in Action March 30, 2021

An Almost Spirng Say Walkabout

Yesterday was a non-swim, but I-need-to-walk day. I haven’t walked the canal for a while so I thought I would do the three mile hike we usually do walking toward the 580/680 interchange and back. It was a gorgeous day, a bit crisp as it has been in the mornings lately, but the sun was already taking the chill off.

    It being the first in-person school day for many of the students in our town there were very few fellow walkers on the path. As I turned off of Amador Valley Boulevard I noticed a Snowy Egret in the shallows by the bridge. A couple of mallards were keeping him company, but he was the first of six Egrets I would see that morning.

    I kept looking for the kingfisher, but I think that bird is not ready to make his presence known yet. I did see some female Mergansers and a few Coots, but I have been missing the Black-Crowned Night Herons. Well, as I crossed the walking bridge there just happened to be one flying through the canal. This would be the first of three for the day, I haven’t seen that many males in a long time.

    I realized as I saw another Snowy Egret and a Common Egret it might be a plentiful bird day. The water is low and the ducks were few, but the variety was abundant. As I continued on to the concrete catch area I saw another sight I hadn’t seen in about three months, a cormorant was flying low over the water looking for a place to dive, I imagine.

    I saw another Common Egret and more mallards and a couple of Canadian Geese. There seemed to be a sprinkle of female Hooded Mergansers and one or two female Golden-Eye ducks as well.

    As I started underneath Dublin Boulevard I saw another Egret and the second Black-Crowned Night heron. There were a few Mallards on the other side of that road along with another pair of Canadian Geese.

    When I came to the interchange of the two freeways there is a spillway which for the last few months as been void of any Black-Necked Stilts, but this day there were two. Joan and I had noticed for the last six months there has only been one instead of the usual two, so it was great to see the pair. There was also a Sandpiper among the shallows pecking through the flowing stream.

    I saw one more Black-Crowned Night Heron and an Egret, but no Great Blue Herons this day. On the way back some of the birds had taken flight, but towards the end of my canal walk a Green Heron broke from the brush and sped down from the way I came.

    Though the water was low the variety of birds were plentiful. Spring is coming and so this second Easter during the pandemic seems to bring with it a return to a bit of normalcy and some expectations for more birding adventures.

    I hope you are getting ready for the greatest celebration ever and I want to remind you we will have, for the first time in over a decade, a Sunrise Service at 6:15 am in the Joy Play yard. Perhaps this is a bit too early for some, but we also will celebrate with another service at our normal time of 9:30 am. I am looking forward to seeing more of everyone that day and I hear we will have a choir piece as well. It should be a great celebration and good time to see many who have been unable to be with us.

    Keep well and stay safe.


    Pastor Randy

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