Migrants

4

It’s Seven A.M. Strong sunlight hammers through the waters of Fish Creek Pond, turning its normally opaque surface transparent. Aki appears to squint. I do every time I look at the pond. A shy pair of mergansers hug the shadowed, far bank. Otherwise it appears as empty as the overhead blue sky. Then the crows possession of the place.

1

We climb the small dike that separates the pond from the creek delta and spot a clutch of bristle-thighed curlews feeding among the rockweed. There are tundra birds, just passing through. The crows seem intent on making a meal of them or at least moving them on.

 

In the mouth of fish creek a harbor seal shatters the morning quiet with a series of unexpected crashes. Curlews, taking it personal, flee the scene.

2

On the return loop, Aki and I watch an adult bald eagle launch from its spruce roost and fly with purpose over Fritz Cove. When it is a kilometer out, it kicks out its talons and crashes them into the water. But they are empty when the eagle regains the air. I am disappointed for the bird and amazed that it could target prey so far away. When we approach the eagle’s roost, it raises its beak and looks into the empty sky rather than down at the witnesses of its failure.

3

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