Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August gatherings

I always know when August is getting near because the blackbirds begin to gather. This is an enormous flock of redwing blackbirds that has gathered in the field across the road from my wee home.

I watched them fly in a couple of days ago, it was a seemingly endless stream... like the cars on a highway at rush hour. Whether they are gathering to help the many babies in the flock build stamina, or to get food from the dropped seeds from the recently harvested hay field, I'm not sure.

The only thing I know is they are very restless, every present, and move off quickly to land in the field adjacent to my pasture in the north end of the property if I get to close. Several have joined the usual suspects at one of the feeders, but they seem intent on being together in a group.

Sometimes there is a gap in the gathering, no birds fly in, then again the stream starts up again. This must be the place! The kicking off spot.

In previous years it has seemed as if it were starlings that gathered like this, lining telephone and hydro wires along a certain stretch of highway. But this year, for some reason it's the redwings I've noticed.

It means that fall, or at least the beginning of it isn't too far away, and I really have to wonder where the heck summer has gone. Yes we're still getting tremendously hot days, but the nights are cooler, the sun is setting earlier, and the fall flowers are beginning to head up.

Time or at least how we measure it, simply flies when I don't pay attention and stay in the moment.

For the moments when these birds are here, I'm entranced though. Watching and wondering. Amazed at the number and the swirling wings, noisy rising and falling back into the field that seems to happen with no particular rhyme or reason. Fascinating experience.

Hope you have some fascinating experience today that keeps you mesmorized and in the moment.


  1. Yep, I noticed the swallows lining up on the phone wires last week, the earliest I've ever seen them. It's hard to think of fall when its only the middle of summer but these fellas have such a long journey.

  2. I agree Bill, it's been a strange year in terms of weather...it's unusual I think to see this species all by itself, usually there's a number of black birds, grackles, starlings, cowbirds etc in the mix. I wonder what it means for the coming fall... and I'm not really anxious to get there too soon for sure. Thanks for stopping by... always good to hear from you.