When Warren and I first decided to move to Prince Edward County we had no idea that this was designated a “Globally Important Birding Area” (IBA).
Say what? …. Please bare with me while I get technical. This area is listed on a world map because of the tremendous number of migratory birds that pass through this area twice a year. http://www.peptbo.ca/ The Canadian Nature Federation of Bird Studies Canada gave the area that designation. To quote them, they describe it as having “phenomenal concentrations”. No kidding.
Anyway… Our first tip-off that the area was special to birds occurred last March when we were moving in. We were unloading a truck of furniture around midnight and the sound of birds over head was deafing. Truly. You could not see anything but there was flapping and honking all around us in the night sky. It sounded like millions of birds were flying over the house. I have no proof because it was absolutely black out at the time and we don’t even have street lights around here. But take my word for it… it sounded like Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”.
All summer long I have been woken by the chatter of birds outside my window. They start up in the dark, pre-dawn. Some mornings as early as 4:30 a.m. I’ve noticed lots of humming birds, purple martins, yellow finches eating at my sunflowers, cardinals, robins, swans, ducks, hawks, swallows, chickadees, and nuthatches. The air has been filled with the melodies of warblers and song sparrows. Sorry but I am no birder, so I can’t label specific types and species. Anyway, my point is….I have really enjoyed their presence. The birds here have been delightful.
Two weeks ago I noticed some major heavy duty flocking. Blowing through were several late summer conventions of sparrows. Hundreds of them briefly settling in one tree before one would move and they all would swarm up in cloud to follow. Now… within the last few days there is a stillness. They have all disappeared. With the exception of the shrill squawk of the bird jays it is now quite quiet. Our purple martin bird houses sit empty. Everyone has moved on.