Notes from the Island
March has been cold and windy. Intermittent rain has kept
the river up between four and a half to five and a half feet for
most of the month.
The flowers have been trying to bloom with some success.
Spring beauties, vinca, crocuses, daffodils, ground ivy, chickweed and
forsythia have been coming out slowly. Today I saw my first
toothwort of the year. With three good sunny days the bluebells will
all pop out.
Some of the migrating birds are passing through. The
seagulls are leaving and the great blue herons are returning. About
twenty whistling swans rested out on Broadwater for a few days
before flying up towards the Arctic and I have noticed American coots
and a horned grebe for the first time. Mallards, wood ducks, and
Canada geese are hanging about looking for nesting sites. One
afternoon we saw four bluebirds perched on the sycamore outside our
window and this morning a flicker was visiting the upper end of the
The beavers continue to make their presence known. High
water can drive them from their lodges and often I see a pair above
Rupperts. The other evening I saw a beaver swimming in the canal
above Lock 6 with branches in its mouth.
I don't know if they are catching anything, but people are
starting to fish on the Maryland shore. However, the river is still
cold and muddy and so far our members have not brought out their
Don't miss the bluebells and the Spring wildflowers, but you
might want to call before coming down to make sure the Club isn't
closed due to flooding.
-- Peter Jones, Sycamore Island Caretaker