Slowly, over the last several years, a love of birds, their appearance and behaviour, crept up on me and seeped into my bones. My husband supports my interest in every way possible. Everywhere we go these days, we watch and listen for the birds in that area. Sometimes I recognize the birds by sight and/or sound, other times, I need the reference book or a website check at home for identification. Usually, the camera is nearby for photos.
Recently, we visited our family at a beach house on the estuary of the Hillsborough River near Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island.
We spent the day on the beach with the kids and enjoyed every minute. Some of our time was spent birdwatching with the family.
Bird listening is a better description when it comes to the Common Terns.
The birds probably nest in the area and their in-flight acrobatics in the sky around the house and their voices were hard to ignore. In one area of the beach, they were loud and looked to be distracting us with aerial antics above our heads. I didn’t get any photos but their behaviour was amazing to watch.
One of the shorebirds, I later identified as a Willet, appeared to be nesting in the same area. We could hear noise among the grasses in the marsh and the bird put on a display a short distance from the noise.
This bird stood on the beach and chirped its loudest as we approached and walked by. When we passed, it took to the air, the beautiful markings on its wings were easy to see but hard to photograph.
From our beach chairs, we observed the Willet and several terns being noisy and aggressive towards a Bald Eagle.
The birds flew towards the eagle, veering off at the last second. The eagle stayed around for a few minutes then flew to the trees a distance away. The smaller birds saw the eagle for the predator it was.
In the water, a flock of eleven Great Blue Herons caught our attention as well.
As the tide rose, the bird moved from one position to another, to shallow water. Eventually they flew off together.
Watching the birds with family and sharing an interest with them was fun.