Daily Observations

Icy Skiff Ride

After hearing about ice in the bay on Saturday, I thought I would get out and take look this morning. I wasn’t disappointed, as there was an extensive layer of thin ice all the way out to Eastern Channel. With sickness going through the family, I haven’t been able to get out much, but the kids were feeling better today, so we went down to the beach to spend some time in the sun.

Weather: Yesterday was quite foggy in town, with little wind and temperatures in the lower to mid 30s. Today it was the same except for the fog. I think the very calm water and air contributed to the ocean freezing. One thing that was interesting was a complete lack of ice in Indian River and out past the river mouth. This makes it seem unlikely that the freezing was due to a freshwater lens on the surface. In the afternoon the sun felt warm, but temperatures were still cool. With no wind, it was pleasant to sit in the sunlight. Ice coverage was still pretty extensive near shore and out as far as the islands across Crescent Bay.

Birds: There were quite a few Bald Eagles in the trees across the road from Sage Beach this morning. I’m not sure what they were doing. There were also a few ravens. On my way back there was a raven squabble near a couple of the eagles, but that seemed to break up before I got close enough to see what might have been going on. I thought I might have heard one of the ravens immitate an eagle call, but I only heard it once and wasn’t able to tell for sure.

There was a heron in the trees above Lincoln Street Beach across from Kelly Street when I first went down, but it was not there on the way back.

Buffleheads and Goldeneye, and Harlequin Ducks were swimming and diving between the shore and the start of the ice near the park in the morning.

I noticed a Song Sparrow on the beach down in the exposed intertidal occasionally flitting between rocks. I assumed it was feeding. When Connor went down by the water, it flew over near Sage Rock and I did not see it again. However, some time later I did hear it start calling. It might have been an alarm call of some kind, but I do not know what it would have been alarming at. The only thing I could really think of was a mink, but we did not see one (not that this proves anything).

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