Monday, August 31, 2009

Bye-Bye, Birdies

We were dragging yesterday, after several days of unusual heat and activities, so we went down to the sewer ponds to check on our feathered friends.

The wind was blowing up quite a gale, which is no problem for the birds, but kept us close to the car. No clambering up the bank to see what was visible from the Bay Trail. Some of our residents were still there: a cluster of terns on the islands, a dozen egrets on the shore, various coveys of ducks, and shorebirds lined up en masse on the sandbar. Stilts and avocets poked about.

Others were missing. No black skimmers, with their big orange beaks and breathtaking flight patterns. The omnipresent Canada "street geese" as James calls them, were not to be seen. (We have wondered if there were unadvertised goose specials in any local restaurants.)

We went roaming about Redwood Shores to see what else we could find. In back of Nob Hill, the dozens of white pelicans we'd seen in recent weeks were nowhere to be seen. The "street geese" were still roaming around Oracle.

Behind the new library, there was some birding activity in the mudflats, with the receding tide. A few whimbrels probing, a couple of egrets, and one stately heron crouched half-shaded in a clump of grass.

The birds come and go on their own schedule. The moon and the sun and the wind must speak their own language. We simply marvel at them while they are here, and look forward to their return.

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