By mid-April, the migratory birds are back, and it is a delight to both see them soaring in the air and hear their calls in the trees along the beach.
The other day as some friends and I were hiking, we came upon an amazing sight: a group of 7 cedar waxwings was perched on the rocks next to the bay, sipping water; when I came near, they all flew up into a pine tree and let me come close enough to almost touch them. I realized they were migrating, and had stopped in the protected bay area to get a drink of water and rest. I grabbed some photos with my cell phone, and was taken aback at how fortunate my friends and I were to see this group en route to their summer nesting location.
The egrets have come back! I love these beautiful white birds that frequent the marshes, bays and lake waters. Squaw Bay is one of my favorite places to see them. The herons are back as well, and can be seen hiding among the saplings and marsh brush, where they blend in perfectly.
The redwing blackbirds are back, and they are courting and choosing nesting sites next to the marshes, where the new cattails are already starting to grow. I love their various calls, and beautiful songs, and seeing the males swaying on last year’s cattails as they sing over their territory.
The juncos have are also visiting during their migration, and are feeding on seeds dropped by chickadees and jays from the backyard feeder. I am concerned that the feeder will attract bears (which are common in this rural area along the beach), but also realize that these winged visitors are hungry, so I keep filling it, and hope that only the birds and squirrels will eat from it. Some white-crowned sparrows decided to join the crowd for a few days during their migration; a whole flock swooped in one day, and began covering the side yard.
The chickadees are still friendly, and love to sit in a bush next to the back of the house near the feeder, where they can watch for their chance to grab seed from the feeder. They will swoop in, get a seed, then sit in the bush and eat the seed.
I saw the cutest female merganser next to the road in a mini-pond formed by the spring rains. I love the crest on her head that reminds me of punk hair style. Mallard pairs can also be seen in the canals, rivers and waterways. While common, I think they are beautiful.
The Canadian Geese can be seen feeding on the beach in the early morning, and then float by to another spot further south to find more food. It makes it worth getting up at sunrise to see these beautiful birds.
I am so glad to see so many of my “feathered friends” back for the spring, after the long winter.