If you are like my wife Kitty, you are happy that summer is fleeing and that Autumn is approaching, but there is a sting with the feel of fall.
Today, I was down to Dutch Point, started off up on a ridge looking out over a stand of Ash, Maple and Spruce, looking through the canopy and at the forest floor I observed White Tail Deer, Red Squirrels, Gray Squirrels and even a little mouse like creature, I could hear Crows, Jays, and Black-Cap Chickadees in the distance but that was it.
The Sounds of the forest were silent of the calls of the Warblers, Tanagers, Vireos, and the Thrush Family, it wasn't till I got close to the marsh that it began to liven up, with the sounds of thousands of ducks. I kid you not, the sky at points was filled with ducks of all sizes, and as I guessed by the duck activity, there were swooping Bald Eagles and gliding Marsh Hawks.
I saw the occassional Gull but didn't get any views of the Osprey (though they were around on the weekend.)
Where am I going with this you ask, well in another couple of weeks even the ducks will mostly be gone, the Eagles will move to where the food is more abundant and the marsh will become like the forest ........quiet except for the occasional Crow, Gull, or Bluejay.
The Marsh will still hold us in captivity with it's beauty, changing fall colours, grasses and reeds blowing in the winds, going from greens to golden browns, and we will become aware of other creatures such as the muskrat, the mouse, and if lucky a beaver.
I always have a sense of mourning by the end of summer, because the majority of birds have fled the coop. Yet it is a time I begin to prepare for winter, get the blind ready, clean the feeders, stock up on seed, and start scoping out tree cavities, dens , and large nests that the owls will use in March.
Where I was focused on birds most of spring and summer, now it shifts towards mammals, as well as the fall colours show, the good thing with being a Nature Geek is there is always something to look for and look forward too. The fall has it's colours, and as leaves plummet to the earth, the view in forests expands allowing for the glimpes of mammals and large birds of prey. Also the less popular birds become more of a focus, especially woodpeckers and small song birds, not to mention flying squirrels, weasels, and the rodent family.
Winter will bring snow (hopefully) which is great for following tracks of wildlife and feelling as your part of the hunt or life of whatever creatures prints you come across.
Yet....it's all a build up for every Birders Big Day "THE BEGINNING OF SPRING MIGRATION!!!!!"
But for now, I will continue to watch the Giant Wing Span of the Bald Eagle as it glides over my head on the hunt for Ducks. Happy Birding!!
Common Gallinule Salisbury Marsh on Sep 17, 2017