A Barrow’s Goldeneye paddling with seeming determination—
I love how his ‘bow-wave’ and wake are so clearly defined in the calm water and the early morning light. Trailing behind him you might see the little eddies left by his webbed feet as he powers forward.
Usually the ducks and shorebirds take refuge and find quiet spots where its safe to seek their nourishment. But not these two I saw yesterday. While the NE Wind blew over 40knots, and the waves crashed ashore in the sandstone shallows, a lone female Goldeneye cruised through the tossing waves and dove and fished and bobbed bravely continuing her search for a good meal. And on the rocks above, a single Killdeer stood stoutly in the face of the oncoming sea.
Watching these small birds I was struck by how spirited— even audacious— they were in the face of such powerful forces of wind and sea.
The nuthatch population seems to be thriving as there are many at our feeders every day. They flit so quickly its hard to ‘catch’ them in a photo. I’m grateful that this one paused briefly, and posed in such a classic nuthatch posture. As a bonus for this shot, we can see something of what he’s caught for his lunch.
The Turkey Vulture is one of the strangest of the winged creatures here on the island. Its naked red head seems all out of proportion to the rest of it’s large body. Soaring overhead, its broad span casts a shadow on the grass, and at rest on the tangle of dead limbs, its folded pinions make the high collared look caricatured in drawings of vultures and vampires.
On its stark perch, the image above is one that, for me, holds an ominous tension. It is not what I would call a ‘beautiful’ bird, but it is a marvel of design and function, consuming carrion right down to the bone, finding its life in the scouring of the shore and forest.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day