The only people I like are birds. And I’m sick of big raptors and buteos, although I tolerate the rarer accipiters. Now I like ducks and waterfowls, not the common mallard and not Canadian Geese, unless they’re in a V-shaped flock and honking. Two weeks ago I spent days watching a nesting eagle pair in Guilford on the access road to Guilford Yacht Club. After a while, their behaviors became boring and pedantic. I did see an immature one soaring with a full bald. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a seal in the Sound. Seal in the Sound, Seal in the Sound! Ocean State Job Lot, Ocean State Job Lot!
There are Ruffled and Wood and Harlequin ducks on the Mill River. And Black Crowned Night Herons. Birds have no expectations and don’t form co-dependent relationships. They just come and sit and let you watch and then fly away. Guilford is the Eastern Bluebird capital of Connecticut. They live as they have for 14,000 years along the West River, near the Regicides barn. After sending Charles I to the chopping block the Regicides lost power after the death of the Lord Protector. Then Charles II came upon the throne. The monarchs were Scottish and Catholic and they patronized the sybaritic clubs in underground London, which had been Roman baths and wine cellars. Chuckie 2 demanded the execution of the signers of his father’s royal death warrant. Goffe, Dixwell and Whalley fled to Boston and then were forced to New Haven (where they got avenues and streets named after them.) Dixwell faked his own death and was able to bring his fortune to America, which wasn’t even known as America, but known as The New Haven Colony. Whalley eventually settled along the Connecticut River in Hadley, Massachusetts and manned a canon during the Metacomet War when war chief Phillip burned Simsbury and raided Northampton. He was never in Simsbury but led a squad of militia to ward off the Indian Army at Northampton. Today there are more South Asian Indians in the Pioneer Valley than native Indians.
The valley has a strange imported bird population, Emus. That were bred for meat. But the flesh is as dry as Grandma Bobbie’s turkey and I don’t think people want to eat such a weird looking foodstuff. It just didn’t catch on. And a farmer turned loose his flock rather than feed them. Traffic, weather and predators took their toll. But there are still Emu’s roaming the Pioneer Valley in undomesticated bliss.
On Easter I saw two vultures perched, a wild tom turkey iridescent in the sun and four hawks.
On Monday 4/6, the first real spring day, I saw blue crocuses and an eagle chase an osprey and steal its fish. It was kind of a wake up call as to how the real world works. Once in the C-Town parking lot in downtown Fair Haven at the luxurious corner of Ferry and Grand I watched a big red-tailed hawk swoop in and strike a pigeon. The pidge was dead instantly and the feathers blew around. Only me and a crack head seemed to notice. Maybe people did notice but birds did not interest them. Or they just wanted to go about their day. As I headed into the store, the crack head shouted;
“did you see that, in Fair Haven even the animals are killing each other!”
Kinda sad how pure nature works.