Sunday, September 2, 2012

Activity at some Prairie Sloughs

The on-set of Fall is always bittersweet for me.  It is my favourite season yet it is also a very lonely one watching the flocks of migratory birds gathering here in southern Canada, soon en route for their warmer Winter locations.  

What a perilous journey they are gearing up for!  The older birds know what to expect; many of those have already left.  It is the flocks of youngsters, not quite grown yet, obeying their natural instincts.  I wonder if they feel a kind of excitement?

Mostly Blue-winged Teals
How strange it must be for these young ones, born in the north, having only known a single slough for all of their lives - the taste of that water, the taste and texture of the food available at that one place.  Of course, they fly around the area, stretching wings, gaining flight muscles; bit by bit experiencing a little more of the world.  

100+ American Avocets
But soon, should they survive the barrage of hunters, guns and dogs...they will find themselves in a completely new environment.  Maybe salty water, certainly different tasting and feeling water; strange kinds of food, and warm, humid weather so foreign from what they have known. 

A Cattle Egret, photo taken through a dirty windshield - why are birds always on the wrong side of the road???
So, in these next 2-3 months, I shall be visiting my favourite locations, watching the birds gather, making notes of departures, wishing them well, hoping to see them return in the Spring - and I'll be making plans for my own trips to warmer climates, to break up the long, dark Winter.


  1. Nice photos and really great writing. Haunting even. Well said, Kathy...

  2. I too become a little sad in the fall, as we had the last boating session then had to take it out of the lake yesterday. Watched our favourite bald eagles, but their babies were no where to be seen.

    1. Hope you had a good summer at the lake, Brian.