In April 2016, we arrived at our new home near the village of Prospect, Nova Scotia, after 19 long hrs on the road. It was 10:30 pm and the night was clear with a dark sky full of stars. A Northern Saw-Whet owl's calls greeted us and a Great-horned owl call was heard soon after. To me, these owl calls were an omen of good things to come, that this was indeed a very special place.
This has proven to be true, it is a magical location, 4 acres of maritime coastal forest with a small spruce bog and a barrens area, fronting on a small freshwater lake joined by a creek to the ocean. The ocean is a 5-minute walk away along a wooded trail. I am thankful that the lake is too small for motorized watercraft and only 4 houses are on it's shore.
The lakefront has been left natural with only a deer trail giving us access to swim or kayak. The songs of the White-throated Sparrow and Hermit Thrush are heard at dawn and these are the last bird songs we hear at nightfall.
|Creek flowing to ocean|
As I write this, a Bald Eagle in 3rd year plumage has landed on a nearby tree and is being harassed by a pair of Ospreys. A raft of 11 Black Ducks are voicing their displeasure but the Eagle is ignoring them. Instead he hops into the shallows and proceeds to bathe. I've observed a daily ritual of bathing by dozens of Double-crested Cormorants and a few Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. They fly in, land on the water then proceed to bathe, shaking off, then flying out. Being next to the ocean, this is a handy place to get the salt off their feathers.
An adult Bald Eagle and a Herring Gull have also arrived and a pair of Ravens are circling overhead. High up a female Northern Harrier is rising on the thermals. The woods around the house are full of young birds, mostly Yellow-rumpled Warblers, Palm warblers, Purple Finches, Blue Jays, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Juncos, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Hairy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers. These species likely nested here or nearby as the adults sang or were seen here since spring. Two young crows are following their parents while begging for food.
It has been so exciting to learn about this beautiful province and see the progression of the seasons and the various species of flowering plants, mosses and trees. There is something new to discover every day. I hope to share these on my blog so you can learn along with me.
Enjoy the warm summer days.