I had three significant bird encounters today, apart from the usual morning flurry around the backyard feeder. The first was a trio of goslings crossing Sources Boulevard near the Rideau Memorial funeral home as I headed South. Their parents were gathered around the adjacent, obligatory cemetery pond, oblivious to the great escape that was underway. They waddled across safely but I worried about them making their way back to the pond once their neighbourhood adventure was over. Were they even old enough to fly over?
The second sighting was coming back from a home visit on l’Ile Bizard. A male Cardinal darted out from some trees and shot like an arrow in front of my car, at exactly eye level. As it flew, it followed a straight line that was directly perpendicular to the road I was on and I was struck by the geometric perfection of its path. There is nothing more lively than a splash of red, albeit fleeting, on a drab stretch of pavement.
The third sighting was the best, an unexpected bucket list item: a peregrine falcon perched high on a branch, in regal contemplation, as we walked the dogs through the woods earlier. Apparently there are two adults and three babies sharing a nest, their high-pitched screeches to one another almost sounding like cats mewling. If it hadn’t been for the mosquitos feasting upon us, the dogs panting from the oppressive heat, and life’s preoccupations at home, I would have suspended that magical moment forever, or at least until the sun dropped from the sky, perhaps through the night as well. It is impossible to be anything other than wholly present when such a wondrous gift appears, a reminder of nature’s incredible power to strike awe and its ability to make us forget about, at least for a while, the incessant need to update our plugged-in devices at home.