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Eric 04-21-2013 11:09 PM

Caspian Tern Patrol

I guess the little guys (smolts, that is) are making their ways down the Alsea and out to sea this week judging from the ODF&W skiffs bombarding the skies with rockets.


I was filling the bird feeders yesterday afternoon when I heard this gawd awful explosion and sudden cacophony of gull screeching; buffleheads, herons, cormorants, gulls and terns were milling about in terror as the bombardment continued down tide. It was something to experience.

Maybe because of this practice, I've seen only one instance of the cormorant/heron/Caspian Tern Smolt Destruction Maneuver this spring (cormorants, maybe a hundred or more strong, form several lines across a channel, the line to the rear leap-frogging the line in front as they gobble smolts underwater as the Caspian terns and herring gulls dive-bomb them from above. Any smolts seeking shelter in close to shore are speared by the Great Blue Herons which flank the squadrons and pace them as they go up tide).

So, hurray, I guess, for the Baby Boomers.

The smolt you save today will be the fly grabber tomorrow. And the spawner after release thereafter.


-- Eric

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