Now the days are getting cooler at night, and shorter. In the early morning, fog can be seen over Lake Huron in a thick white blanket that rolls towards the shore. I know that the shorter days and tree color changes herald the fall migration of the birds to warmer climates.
I can still see an occasional blue heron in the marsh, and egrets as well. I am enjoying every sighting, knowing that within a few weeks, they will be gone. The redwing blackbirds and sandpipers have already left on the journey south. Now is the time of year when the “year round” inhabitants come into their own.
The other day, I went hiking near Presque Isle with some friends, and spotted a yellow-rumped warbler. These are cute little birds, and I see them perching on the edge of woods and fields
Chickadees can be seen perching in trees, and even hanging upside down.
The juncos visit the pines in the yard, and will gladly forage for seed scattered on the ground.
One of my favorite sights is a bald eagle that often visits a tree on the point, sitting there to search for fish. The eagles will stay through the winter, and soar high above the shore in their search for food.
Another beautiful sight is when the Canadian Geese, which are gathering into large flocks, fly up into the air, then touch back down on the water. They are still practicing for the big flight south and will be gone soon.
The merganser babies are grown, and can still be seen in the mornings hunting for food by the beach behind the house. I love to see them, and hope that they choose to hang around this winter.
The other day, on the drive home by the bay, I saw a pair of yellowlegs. These lovely birds are migrating south, and stopped by the marsh to feed and rest.
I also saw some swans on Lake Michigan when driving near Petoskey. They were gathered on the water, and are beautiful.
Finally, the final week of October, the herons have left. I have not seen any for a few days, and the marshes are quiet and still in the chill air. I will miss them, and the egrets, but I know that they are enjoying warmer weather – and good fishing – further south.