FYI: 2013 Winter Eagle Festival
The Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival is scheduled for this Saturday, February 9th at the Mauricetown Firehall, and the event is going to coincide this year with extreme high and low tides along the bayshore region. This is going to be a rare opportunity to perhaps experience scenes and wildlife activity that many attendees have never experienced before.
Some important points for attendees:
- The differential between high and low tide on Saturday is going to be 8 feet, which is extreme. This is going to be a rare opportunity to experience the bayshore between extremely high tide and extremely low tide – all the more reason for attendees to arrive early and spend the entire day experiencing the dramatic shift.
- Although this probably will result in some wet hikes (rubber boots are strongly encouraged), the weather is supposed to be beautiful, sunny and above freezing, there is ample upland parking around the firehall and at the viewing sites, and the tide differential will likely result in interesting and rare wildlife behavior (muskrats sitting on their lodges, rails running across roads, hungry raptors picking off rodents that would otherwise be under cover, etc.). Photographers might be particularly interested in getting some photos of the same scenes at high vs. low tide.
- Wear waterproof boots if you plan to take the 10AM Tat Starr Trail hike. Everyone else simply should recognize that, in addition to seeing eagles and other wildlife, we have an opportunity to feel and see some extremely high and low tidal action this year. The range between high and low tide at the mouth of Dividing Creek is 8 feet on this (almost) new moon day.
- At Turkey Point high tide is forecast to be at 9:20AM so, even if the predicted north winds push the tide out some, that’s still a good time to see how wildlife responds to high water levels. Look for the few remaining clapper or Virginia rails, or rodents, crossing roadways or looking for other high ground. Hungry raptors are likely to be looking for rodents too at this time. And if you revisit Turkey Point at 4:20PM, when the tide is forecast at a half foot below its normal low, you’ll see a landscape dominated by land, not water, and wildlife behavior reflecting this dramatic change.
- If you miss high tide at Turkey Point you can take a 5-minute drive to Beaver Dam, where tides arrive over 2 hours later: around noon. Sometimes this site is inaccessible in the highest tides, but wait an hour and the tide recedes. This is the highlight story of the 2013 Eagle Festival: the pulse of the tides is stronger this year.