Views Along the Channel

During the school year I usually walk to UAS twice a week in the afternoon. It’s interesting to observe the changes, especially as the season turns to spring. The Channel boat harbors have boats in town for the Herring Sac Roe fishery tied up two and three deep to the transient floats. Long-line season starts a week or two prior, and the gulls are feasting on the effluent from the fish processing plants. Bald Eagles line the shoreline keeping an eye out for opportunities to eat, but it seems they are especially watching for the first herring spawning when the fish will be abundant close to the surface and relatively easy to feast on.

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Snow Returns

After catching the free brown bag concert put on by the Jazz Festival the kids and I got caught in a little snow squall. We waited out the strongest of it at the Crescent Harbor shelter as the snow, mostly in the form of graupel, fell. The forecast had called for snow with no accumulation, but by the end of the day the snow on the ground was approaching an inch deep.

The ice at Swan Lake continues to retreat. There were three Ring-necked Ducks, quite a few Glaucous-winged Gulls, at least one Thayer’s Gull, as well as Mallards and scaups. Today’s mix of scaups was different than yesterday’s, with two male Greater Scaups hanging together while another group of 5 Lesser Scaup males dove repeatedly at the edge of the ice. After the Greater Scaups moved around the peninsula to where the Lesser Scaups were, it was interesting to be able to compare them more directly and see some differences.

I noticed a Common Ragwort (Senecio vulgaris) with flowers still present. It was under a pine tree at the town end of the Lincoln Street green belt. Presumably the cover provided by the pine kept the plant from being significantly damaged by the frost. It seems unlikely the flowers will be able to produce seed, but I guess as temperatures rise in the coming months it will be interesting to see.

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