Saturday, August 16, 2008

Here Came the Sun

Wednesday brought a most astonishing and welcome surprise: sunshine. After another grey drizzly start to the day, the cloud cover broke and the long-unseen sun showed itself for the first time in a fortnight. Jan proposed that we head out, binoculars in hand to see if we could find thirty bird species in our own woods before noon. By mid-August fall migration is underway and we soon found a little flock of songbirds taking a feeding break on their southward journey. Together with our three of local breeding warblers -- Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-and-White -- we found Black-throated Green and several American Redstarts. Every one a jewel. A gang of twenty White-winged Crossbills noisily announced themselves and provided a good look. The song of the Hermit Thrush, beautiful and evocative, has only one rival, its near relative, Swainson’s Thrush. We heard the former and had a close look at the latter. Yellow-bellied and Alder Flycatchers boosted our list by two. A Brown Creeper, not frequently seen in our neck of the woods, brought us to an even thirty, right on target.

Sunshine endured right through the afternoon. Feeling like lottery winners we stayed outside, took our first saltwater swim in eleven days. Good fortune persisted. Lynn and Louise call our place The Resort. It lived up to the billing for their arrival later in the afternoon. We stayed outside savouring the sun and a glass of Viognier. The Darlings hosted a four-star feast at the Spaghetti Benders Restaurant just up the road. Back at the cabin clear skies continued. Open starry nights have been a rarity of late but this night’s was the exception – and just in time for the annual Perseid meteor shower. Hail the cosmos.


No comments: