Category Archives: Birds of Galiano

small creatures in a powerful sea…

a lone female Goldeneye (click on the image for a larger view

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.

 

Turkey Vulture

click on image for a larger view
click on image for a larger view

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.