The migration of birds, both spring and fall, has always been a fascinating time for me.

Why do some do so while others do not? What triggers the mindset for some to travel north to raise their young while others sit tight, staying close to the area in which they were born?

What started my wondering thoughts on this was what I think was a flock of about 30 green-winged teal; their small size and rapid wing beats whistled as they circled wide once high up and circled again, dipping quite low down as they closed rank not far over my head, then tumbled in a jumble of backstroking wings to light on the cool waters of our pond. The pond being out of my sight left me deprived of watching them dip and dive as they quite often do while feeding.

Earlier this morning there was a large spattering of robins hopping back and forth across both our front and back lane. There must have been two dozen or more in each direction. They were gobbling up the small worms that surfaced during the rain of the night before. When the low-lying fog lifted and the sun came out, they moved over to the raspberry patch, which circles my pheasant pens, picking from the ground the ripened berries that the rain had knocked down.

The resident pair of red-tailed hawks that raise their young each year in our corner woodlot have not left yet. I could see them circling again and again high over the fields of our pasture. Later in the day, three turkey vultures circled, time and time again, low over the roadside quite far down the road. I strongly suspect that there was a road-kill there on which they intended to lunch.

This past week, too, I have seen, high, high in the sky, three large flocks of geese heading south in their familiar ‘V’ formation. Yet in this area there are still quite a number of small family flocks that seem to be just wandering from local pond to pond.

As I wandered over to count the goats as they headed through the gate from nighttime paddock to daytime pasture, I noticed half a dozen crows drop to the ground in the adjoining pig paddock where the big black Birkshire porkers romp, root, wallow and play. There the crows seemed to be flipping the pig dung over and gobbling the dew worms that had gathered there.

Somehow or other I think I’m going to stick to my poached eggs, toast and jam for my breakfast.

Take care, ‘cause we care.




Barrie Hopkins