A Year on Clear Lake-Apr 25, 2013

A Piece of Work–April 25, 2013

Nature is such a remarkable artist. For instance, this Snowy Egret is a study in contrasting textures and color. Big,  soft, round, white fluffiness atop two thin, long, black, angular legs, set off with a pair of brilliant yellow feet. Look how the bold color and texture is repeated again on the bill in reverse–thick, sharp, black bill, a splash of yellow around the eyes, ending once again in the soft, white, fluffiness of its round head. Simple. Beautiful.

We are well into spring now, moving quickly toward summer. As I mentioned when I first began this post back in November, the seasons change subtly on Clear Lake. There is no fancy display, but a quiet changing of the guard as birds migrate in and out. On hand today, the Green Heron, the Black Crowned Night Heron, the Yellow Crested Night Heron, the Great White Egret and the Snowy Egret. What’s missing? The Osprey. After a flurry of action a couple of weeks back, these birds are hard to find today. I haven’t seen one for at least a two weeks. As  a novice birder, I speculate the flurry of Osprey sightings a few weeks back was the result of these raptors passing through on their way north.

What’s wrong with this picture? No more American White Pelicans.

The Ibis is another bird missing–haven’t seen one of these unique creatures for months. And at home base, the big, beautiful American White Pelicans vanished about a week and a half ago, vacating their posts at the far west end of Clear Lake. Of course, the Purple Martins moved in months back.

So, the new guard is in place – we’ll see what summer brings.