The weather’s been crazy lately – freezing temperatures, wild wind storms… oh, and did I mention the rain? Will will it ever end? Well, there’s a few signals out there, that better weather may be on the horizon. Nature is pretty good at reading and sending out its own signals. It’s had a lot of practice. We’re surrounded by quite a few of nature’s creatures at Coracle Cove and when we slow down long enough to watch and listen, we pick up on those signals.
Birds migrate over great distances in search of a steady source of food. They have an amazing ability to know just when to start moving on to greener pastures. Like these Goldeneyes who showed up a couple of weeks ago. There’s just a small flock of maybe a dozen or so, and they like to feed on the mussels under our dock. They usually hang around for a month before heading further north to begin their breeding cycle.
This Surf Scoter showed up a couple of days ago. It was a new sighting for me and it wasn’t until I got the binoculars on its colourful beak that I was able to verify its ID.
Mergansers are relatively common throughout our winter months, easily identified by their crested head. My favourite, however, is this Hooded Merganser with a large white crest which he fluffs out to attract a mate. Hooded Mergansers are a sure sign of the approach of Spring and breeding season.
Although not a migratory bird, Eagles also travel in search of food and salmon is at the top of their shopping list. Our resident family of Eagles return each year after feasting elsewhere on spawning salmon. Their call is easily identifiable and we first started hearing it a few weeks ago. This year’s family seems to be made up of at least one or two adolescents who still have their brown head feathers and this handsome fellow who is the dominant Partiarch of the family.
Oystercatchers search along the shoreline for small mollusks and use their long bills to pry the shells open. Like the others in this blog, they return to our area at this time of the year and when I heard that they had arrived I immediately set out with my camera to take some pictures.
Birds are like old friends who have left our lives and then return. In this case, we’re doubly happy to see them because we know that the warmer days of Spring are not too far away.
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