JOURNAL 58 - THE NOVICE BIRDER

Nov. 20/04, 2004 - SWAN SONG - It was a wonderful sight to see and hear the flocks of Trumpeters back on the Island for another winter season. Somehow it was reassuring that another natural milestone had just occurred, perhaps, because it indicated that our natural world hasn't been totally destroyed yet.

I had to drive a friend to south Nanaimo on Thur. (Nov. 18) so I decided to look for an American Black Duck at the Crow and Gate. Guess what? Not a single duck was in the pond. However, the rainclouds decided to clear, inviting me to continue along Yellow Point Road. I'm glad I did as I ran into a flock of about 200 Trumpeters at McNab's farm. Naturally, I had to stop to take a couple of pictures, but it was a pleasure just to stand, observe, admire, and enjoy their company for an hour.


FANCY FLIGHT

THE BEAUTY OF FLIGHT - I am constantly amazed at how a creature so large can fly so effortlessly. With their size and weight, I'm surprised they can even take-off, let alone fly with such power, speed, and grace.


SWAN SUMMIT

MUTUAL DISAGREEMENT - A meeting of Trumpeter Swan leaders was called to discuss serious environmental issues such as habitat destruction, pollution, and other forms of human interference. Unfortunately, there were severe personality conflicts, and the meeting degenerated into a chaos of mud-slinging and name-calling.

A LOSS LOSS SITUATION - There was no hope of finding any middle ground to even commence discussions on the agenda items, and the meeting ended with pushing and shoving and an angry exchange of unmentionable accusations.

DIVIDED WE FALL - For those who realized that mediation was impossible with the dissenting parties, the only solution was to leave. None of the serious issues were discussed. It was another nail in the coffin of the natural world.


QUICK STOP AT NRE - On my way home I made a quick detour to the Nanaimo River Estuary. The river was full of Common Mergansers, Barrow's Goldeneye, and Buffleheads. The Redtail was in its usual spot on top of the magnificent giant oak tree, but I didn't see anything else interesting on the way to the tower. The only photo ops were the Buffleheads and Chickadees.


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