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Mute Swan is Highlight of A Quiet Morning at the Marsh

6:45am and the marsh is relatively quiet. The only noise is the background soundscape of crickets and katydids. There are no signs of our typical residents – the herons, egrets, beaver, ducks, and birds. But the mute swan is a surprise. It’s near and center, clearly visible and close enough to be photographed. I watch for a long time as it preens itself. The spots on the water surface are clumps of its feathers.

Various wildflowers have bloomed and gone, and now the grasses and shrubs are dying or turning red and brown as fall approaches.

A little after 7:00am, a small group of Canada Goose arrive. It’s the first of the season for my visits. They fly in from the northeast, possibly spending the night along the banks of the Bush River or Otter Point Creek. Over the next few minutes, a few more small groups of geese fly in. They settle in towards the middle of the marsh.

I move around to the side, the on-ramp to Route 24. And catch sight of a blue heron, tucked in the group of trees along Route 40.

I move to area 2, which is even quieter. Usually there are one or two herons and egrets here, but not this morning. The only birds are a few quiet ones perched high in the dead trees.


Area 3 is much larger. Along Route 24, there is a marshy area and then it becomes drier.

It’s quiet here as well, but I notice a tousled-looking hawk perched on an electrical pole, surveying the possibilities.


On my way back home, I swing by area 1 again. An egret has emerged from the grasses at the back of the marsh.

And the mute swan is still the center of attention, right along the highway.

What signs of fall are you noticing?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ed #

    Great series, nothing better than a quiet walk in a marsh..:-)

    September 13, 2012
  2. Thank you Ed! It’s amazing where you can find nature, silence, and peace – these are right long 4-lane surface highways.

    September 13, 2012

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