The First of the Wind Birds

I visited the pond in the afternoon, with the hope of spotting more migrant ducks. Each day this week as I've felt better and better after a recent illness, the weather has gotten worse and worse. Today, a nagging wind out of the southeast but as cold as any wind from the opposite point of the compass, low thick clouds, with rain beginning before I'd finished hiking the loop around the pond. And the temperature stuck in the mid 30s.

All the ducks on the pond are Mallards. A single pair of geese fly in and land, honking and barking as if they thought they might suddenly take possession of the place. As their raucous entry subsides another sound is heard, winging back and forth above the pond a Killdeer, the first of the wind birds encountered this year. Then on the far side of the pond, the second wind bird, a Wilson's Snipe nearly unnoticeable at the edge of the shore. Amazingly, this small lump of a bird (a near match for the clod of mud it is stationed next to) in flight reaches speeds of 60mph.

Here's a passage from Peter Matthiessen's The Wind Birds: Shorebirds of North America, a beautiful introduction to these interesting birds: "The restlessness of shorebirds, their kinship with the distance and swift seasons, the wistful signal of their voices down the long coastlines of the world make them, for me, the most affecting of wild creatures. I think of them as birds of wind, as 'wind birds'. "

Publicado por scottking scottking, 24 de março de 2017, 02:49 AM

Observações

Fotos / Sons

What

Narceja-de-Wilson (Gallinago delicata)

Observador

scottking

Data

Março 23, 2017 01:00 PM CDT

Descrição

Wilson's Snipe
St Olaf Natural Lands
Northfield, Minnesota

Fotos / Sons

What

Borrelho-de-Coleira-Dupla (Charadrius vociferus)

Observador

scottking

Data

Março 23, 2017 12:39 PM CDT

Descrição

Killdeer
St Olaf Natural Lands
Northfield, Minnesota

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