On yet another bright sunny morning, I greet you all with some more of my bird ramblings, quiet though they may be! The number of birds in the garden at the moment has definitely declined as they too enjoy this lovely weather and can feed on their more natural foods. As the leaves turn and the trees’ beautiful autumn colours take hold, there are still good feeding opportunities to be taken advantage of before they, the birds, have to resort to the support that some of us with feeders provide.

Some of the more unusual feeders are the water birds who feed in a variety of ways, such as the Canada Geese, who both browse on the top of the ground, but also under the water on a river, creek or pond’s bottom. I had occasion the other day of watching some geese as they did just this in the creek at the end of our road, hence my cryptic title for this article. My picture shows at least five doing this at once as they reached down to get food from beneath the surface!

Another water bird, a Great Blue Heron, provided me and a holidaying relative of mine with a treat whilst exploring the countryside and enjoying the autumn leaf colors. At the Narrows Locks, I spotted the Heron as it hunted along the side of a reed bed for either fish or frogs. Its beak is a good indicator that it is a very different type of feeder than a goose or duck is. This sharp eyed and skilled hunter stabbed a fish swimming in the weeds which was hard to distinguish at first since a whole lot of weeds were caught around the fish as it was brought to the surface and had to be removed before it was dispatched down that long graceful neck!

Both of these different events obviously weren’t my normal “in garden” observances but, nevertheless, very exciting and interesting to witness first hand. I hope that you too are able to see something, out of the usual sphere of your daily sightings and get that additional feeling of excitement that they provide for you as an individual. Whilst, if you do so, stay safe and well.


John Baldwin


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