Overcast and occasional rain. High was near 50F.
It was raining when I stepped out to check for moths last night. I didn’t find any, but there could still be some stragglers that show up. Later in the month or early in November I expect the winter moths (Operophtera occidentalis) will start showing up.
Today’s high was predicted to be about 11.6ft, and observed values were trending near the predicted when I looked this morning. I saw the high was due to occur at 1pm, so went out to Starrigavan a bit after noon.
The tide was not quite as high as I thought it might be when I arrived, but I didn’t spend much time on that thought. Instead my attention was drawn to the side of the road by a hand stuck out the driver’s window of a car pointing towards me, but stopped on Nelson Logging road. I pulled up and saw a bear on the narrow strip between the foot path and creek.
The bear was eating a fish, then stepped up on to the path and and walked along a bit before dropping back down to the strip of brush and trees. It did this a couple of times before apparently stopping for a longer period of time where I could not see it.
I was concerned I would miss the high tide, so when the bear was not reappearing, I decided to park and take a look along the trail.
I was puzzled to see it looked like the water was rapidly flowing into the low areas near the trail.
The water wasn’t especially high compared to the highest tides of the year, but I did keep my eye open for small mammals that might be flushed out of the meadow (I did not see any).
I proceeded slowly around the boardwalk, checking for birds and observing the still rising tide.
In addition to the usual assortment of birds, I did hear and get a brief look at a White-throated Sparrow. I also heard bird calls that sounded vaguely familiar, but not so much that I recognized them immediately. Unfortunately they didn’t last long enough for me to record, and I never got a look at the bird(s) making them. My best guess is maybe crossbills, but I really don’t know.
I noticed a bear out in the estuary meadow and watched it make its way along. It was eating vegetation as it went. For whatever reason, that was not something I expected. I’m not sure if this is typical for this time of year, or if this (young/small) bear is just not so good at catching salmon, so is supplementing with vegetation.
It was the same bear I had seen along Nelson Logging road, distinguished by the pale frosting around its neck that gives it a bit of a collar.
It eventually crossed the trail and into the wooded area in the direction of the campground.
I continued towards the bird viewing shelter and around to complete the loop.
Although it was now shortly after 2pm, it still looked to me like the water was coming up in the estuary. I went back on the trail, and the water level was distinctly higher than when I had come around the first time.
I watched the birds in the estuary for a bit as I waited. When I was convinced the water had started to recede, I went back to my car.
Just as I arrived, I got one last brief look of the same bear I had seen earlier. In the hour or so since I had last seen it, it had come back around and was starting up the Forest and Muskeg trail.
As it turned out, the chart I was reading was showing local standard time, so the time was an hour off from the current clock time (which is local daylight time). I fixed my bookmark so it will now show whichever the current time is, and hopefully avoid this confusion in the future.
Before going home I checked out both the channel and Castle Hill. Plenty of gulls in the channel, but none stood out to me. Castle Hill was quiet. As I watched, I noticed many of the leaves look a like they’re already dying, but they haven’t changed colors. Maybe the look is normal or a result of the high winds and the color will change to yellow in the coming days.