A few days after we "went to press" last month, the water ouzel's nest described in that issue mysteriously dissapeared from its inaccessible niche on the cliff. When I visited the site one day, not a gragment of moss was left and the pair of birds were perched disconsolate upon a nearby boulder.
Nine days later I chanced along the river in search of deer pictures and glanced across to the former nesting site. There in exactly the same position and upon the same tiny ledge was a replica of the former nest and the mother bird was apparently already deeply absorbed in incubating another set of eggs to take the place of the brood she lost only a few days before. We are watching her progress with interest and we sincerely hope that the little family meets with no such misfortune again.
While taking motion pictures of water ouzels at their nest on the vertical bank of the Nisqually River. I had occasion to attempt to wade the swift flowing glacial torrent. I found that although the water did not reach to the top of my hip boots the current was so strong that it was impossible for me to keep my footing and after three attempts, at as many different points, I was forced to give it up.
A week later, however, when the river was almost a foot higher due to the warm weather and the melting ice, Jimmy, the garbage-can-raiding brown bear of Longmire Springs, was seen to attempt the crossing (rather than walk a mile to a foot bride) and make his way across successfully.
According to the story of the watcher he floundered around a lot and went down stream about fifty yards, but he got across in pretty good shape. I'd like to know how he did it.
A few weeks ago nearly all the gray Jays dissapeared, almost over night, and we knew that the annual nesting season had commenced, for the gray jay is extremely secretive about its nesting. We have never found a nest, although the bird is very abundant.
On June 4th, we saw what appeared to be a gray jay, except that it was a sooty gray in color. It was the first young jay of the season.
Soon the woods were full of the noisy young upstarts, and they were doing all sorts of foolish tricks. If a bird flew in at the window and perched in the middle of your dinner table it was a young jay, if they flew against the side of the house with a clatter or perched on your horses back, it was sure to be a young jay. There were jays everywhere and they were all foolish.
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