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The Oyster Factory

This was a great kayak trip! Don and Samantha were my kayak buddies.  We launched from Gray’s Beach at about 2 hours before high tide. (Book advised we launch an hour before High tide, hope we don’t get into trouble…)  As the tide was coming in the paddle inland was pretty easy. We first made our way across the inlet to the Oyster Factory and Oyster Pools. As we arrived before 8:00 AM and the buildings look pretty forlorn I thought they were a thing of the past, however there was a lot activity there on the paddle back.

American Oystercatcher

Paddling into the oyster pools did not prove to be very exciting but coming out we neared a sand bar with a few Cormorants. While setting up for a nice shot I noticed a couple of birds I had not seen before, they were banded American Oystercatchers! Makes sense that they’d hang out close to the oyster pools.
Paddling further into the creek was not hard with the tide coming in. It was like paddling downstream except we were headed inland. We were about two or three feet below the marsh grass, the mud banks were steep and pocketed with holes that I thought would be teaming with hermit crabs but were not.
We then saw a very big Osprey nest. It was at least three feet tall.  This is a sign that this family has been returning here for many years.

Don, Samantha and the Osprey!

We continued up the main creek and for the whole trip in we were going on with the current.  When we did decide to turn back the current was still strong, I had expected the tide to turn, it did not. After paddling a little way we turned into White’s Brook. Once again we were traveling inland with the tide.  In this brook we were increasingly closed in by the walls of mud and marsh grass, however with the tide rising we were not as low and could begin to see how far inland we were.
Each turn we could expect to see something different.  We surprised a few Green Herons, a few gulls and sandpipers.  At one point we stopped to rest in a small pool. It was in here I observed that you could actually see the tide rising almost a quarter of an inch a minute!   Well it was getting late and time to get back.  It was more paddling against the tide and it seemed a long way back.  We did see two other Osprey nests on the way back. All three nests were inhabited with families. The Oystercatchers and Ospreys sure made this a worthwhile trip. I guess next time I’d launch closer to high tide.

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