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Pavillion Paddle


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Well it was a Feb. thaw indeed today. I thought of going out as I made my deliveries up the Great Neck, but was soon to forget about it-- until I saw that several of you were meeting at Pavillion at 11:00am. Unfortunately it was noon by then, but I quickly threw on the dry suit that hadn't been used since the cold water workshop and headed up the Neck to put in at Pavillion. Made it up to Eagle Hill as the tide finished it's peak off the full moon flood. Met some icy floaters and had a leisurely paddle back as the tide started to scoot back out. The wind had been very mellow, but started to pick up to the north, just enough to make me have to work a little, upon my paddle back to the mouth. But it was a very sweet taste of spring for a short paddle, and hadn't seen the Sound so placid since at least September.

Met a paddler packing up as I landed back at Pavillion. He had heard some paddlers near the Rowley River. I was hoping to run in to you, as I didn't want to go out by myself. But all in all it was a nice little winter paddle on a very pleasant and mild day.



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It was indeed a beautiful day to be out and about on the water.

Nice fellow we met up by Rowley and would have been nice to meet you as well.

We came off the water about 3:25.

Such a "picture perfect" day. I'll try to write a bit more for a trip report,or if you don't mind I'll add a

little more under your report.

Either way I won't tell about the Owl...opps... well maybe a little...

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Yes, We did have an excellent view of an adult Snowy Owl. Nice and close, without disturbing it we were able to view it to our hearts content.

So the telling of the tale goes somewhat along these lines...

I met up with Sid and we were soon pleasantly surprised to meet Jeff who also joined us. As it turned out he had been to the refuge the previous day and was fresh with info of some sightings of things that walked, trotted or flew so to speak

We pushed off and crossed over to the other shore of Sandy Point area heading along to Grape Island where we scouted the banks for the burrows where King Fishers make their homes. (it is not often mentioned that they nest underground much like a cliff swallow does).

Having good luck we continued up the Sound, Geese, Eiders and Loon were seen and heard as we went along... when... we saw our 1st large avian predator of the day, with some indecision whether it was a Bald Eagle or not

A short time later, no doubt about it, a imm. Bald Eagle flew across, somehow they always seem to be taking their time so it was an excellent view.

The open water seemed to be fading out as we went further up so we set our sights for Parker River area where we met the fellow that Nancy mentioned.

After following the Parker River till it iced over near the Newbury Town Landing. It was then that we started down the west side of the Sound towards Nelson Island and Hog Island.

Our only mammal of the day turned out to be a Harbor Seal sunning itself on a block of ice. We gave him plenty of room so as not to disturb him and she obliged by staying put for a nice viewing.

Jeff was the 1st to notice that one of the telephone poles leading out to one of the points seemed "taller" than it should be. The sun gave us only a silhouette view but it sure looked promising.

We paddled a bit further beyond it and with the glare of the sun no longer in our eyes it was unmistakenly a Snowy Owl, with the whitest head It was a beautiful Bird to see and the Best view I think any of us have ever seen of such a bird.

We needed to land and stretch our legs so we opted for a partialy concealed point not overly far from it and took our break and a bit to eat.

Owls are awesome and far more tolerant of any activity around it. It will be long remembered

by us I am sure.

Once we moved on we paddled back with the outgoing tide. This time going more directly to Sandy Point. After "shooting the breeze" for a couple of minutes, we picked a compass bearing so as to ferry across the increasing current and as much for practice as as well.

Excellent day and excellent paddling companions...The day certainly ended with a smile.!

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Yes, We did have an excellent view of an adult Snowy Owl. Nice and close, without disturbing it we were able to view it to our hearts content.

So the telling of the tale goes somewhat along these lines...

Sounds great. I was hoping to maybe spot a seal, as I have in the area before, but no such luck. As far as the Snowy Owl, I was just telling a friend recently that I saw several in my neighbor's yard and in a tree in my yard, when I first moved to Ipswich in summer of 2001. It was a beautiful thing, never to be repeated after that first year.

Only wildlife for my paddle was a huge flock of birds that made a thunderous sound and one lone loon. And a couple of construction sights with men on roofs along Northridge Road. Sounds like you got to take in quite a bit more...

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