All the birds on the Fish Creek delta are edgy and its not Aki’s fault. It can’t be the weather. We have clear, windless skies. A gentle sun warms the beach grass straw. It can’t be the tide, which retreated this morning to leave acres of exposed mud for the birds to hunt and hide on. Mallards burst off the flats in twos and threes to fly in an arc around us and land on the creek water.
Eagles launch from beachside spruce to shrink into dots over the wetlands. Eventually, I make the connection. It’s their gliding flight that routs the mallards and other ducks.
In the woods along Fish Creek pond, a murder of crows wake from their roost. Their outriders dog our passage back to the trailhead, croaking warning to the little dog. But the resident squirrels, normally the first to scold Aki, watch us pass without comment.