Winter generally isn’t my favorite season, but there are a few compensations. When the leaves are off and the plants have died back, you can see the geology better. There’s lots of night-time in which to write, which is awesome for a nocturnal person. The cat gets cuddlier the lower the temperature drops. And there are winter visitors. Like these little guys at Juanita Bay.
There’s usually at least one group of birds around I’ve not seen before. I’m always on the lookout when we got walkies for something new (to me – one of you has probably already identified the above birdie). Our leisurely ramble around Juanita Bay a few days ago didn’t disappoint – these were very eye-catching specimens, both in appearance and behavior.
There were two of the above variety, and one that I’m relatively certain is a female of the same species, based on the fact the guys were acting like idiots around her.
It was getting on close to sunset on a cloudy day, so the light wasn’t the best, and she was too dark to really stand out well. But hopefully this shot gives you a general idea of what she looks like.
The dudes were doing their best to impress, swimming around her, showing off. They’d swim a bit, then rear their heads up out of the water and curve their heads and breasts back, looking for all the world like avian seahorses. And they’d make a really odd noise I’m having a hard time describing. Good news is, I don’t have to! I took a video for ya. Just turn up the sound, and when they rear back, listen closely: you’ll hear a kind of hollow creaking noise.
That’s them. They sound like sound effects in this Pharoahe Monch song. (If anybody knows what that sound effect is, please enlighten me. It’s now driving me mad.)
Such birds add enjoyment to a winter excursion. Hopefully, we’ll see many more awesome birdies this winter. If global warming’s good for anything, it should be good for sending new and different birds our way, eh? Although these could be regulars I’ve just never noticed.
I’ve put the full set up at Flickr for those who haven’t gotten enough yet. Enjoy!