Over the last few months our yard has become a regular morning stop for this neighbourhood family.
Dad started visiting first and he was very nervous in the beginning, only venturing out a short distance from the cover provided by the hedge. But the lure of the tasty insects (residing in our “bog”) and the seeds scattered from the bird feeders proved irresistible and he gradually became bold, even bringing the family round to share the feast. Now we often surprise mom and the boys as they pass by on their way to the beach!
Once on the beach, they scratch and peck like so many colourful chickens, leisurely working their way along the shoreline in a loose group, digging up the tasty morsels under the seaweed. They usually show up late, after we’ve had breakfast, missing the early crowd; a group of older guys who arrive just after daybreak and wander all over the quay and parking area, playing hide-'n-seek with the Eider Ducks.
This early group is comprised of unwitting comics; one lone bird always ventures to the very end of the quay and spends some minutes gazing out over the loch and staring down into the water. Eventually, one or two others will creep out, either to talk some sense into the errant fowl or find out what he found so fascinating in the first place. With the renegade brought back to safety, the group eventually retrace their steps and disappear back into the fields…this little scene has played itself out several mornings while I’ve watched from our windows. I wonder if the same actors fill the same roles every morning or do they take it in turns and what are they thinking in those little birdbrains as the small drama unfolds?