A cold late afternoon in early February drew me out to the boardwalk in Summerside. I’d been waiting for that perfect window when the air was still and the sky was clear. I was wrong about the clear part. When I arrived by the bay, the sun had disappeared into a cloud bank, but the blue of dusk felt magical.
The bay, after many false alarms, is finally frozen this winter. I’ve watched daily for the progression of the ice in the bay but it wasn’t until the arctic blast in the -20s C and colder for two days, that the bay froze and stayed that way. Now it is snow covered. The convergence of white from land and sea always gives me pause. Snow is the great equalizer.
There were few vehicles in the car park since sunset is around 5:30 pm now and most people are home or headed there. It was quiet on the boardwalk and in the distance, the lighthouse did its job, but looked no brighter than a flashlight amid the remains of the day. Then I heard crows in the distance.
I headed west along the boardwalk towards the sound. I could see the black shapes on the bay, hundreds of them. Other crows flew in from various directions and landed where they were greeted by other birds. Then they broke into small groups. They looked like friends meeting up at the end of the day to socialize.
At the first bridge, I paused and observed for a time. Some birds congregated on the rock revetments
while others had a drink at the outflow from the sewage treatment plant. Eventually they started to fly away again, groups flying off in different directions into Summerside. Some landed in the nearby trees first and left from there.
As I walked back towards the car, they flew overhead on their way to their places of rest.
A visit to photograph a sunset turned into another birding experience. Yay!