2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer - (Page 8)

FEATURE Bird Escapades By: Lisa Lysen "Hey! Quit stealing my birds!" a voice bounces playfully across the deck. With all the birds in the Interlake, that comment is a cute one! n hour's drive from Winnipeg, Sugar Point on Lake Manitoba offers the beauty and solitude of lake living within arm's reach of the city. And a big part of what keeps Sugar Point interesting is the birds coming and going as the months roll by. Interlakepulse * www.interlakepulse.com A 8 There's beautiful plumage and color all year with constant seasonal change ups of purple martins, robins, finches, hummingbirds, flycatchers, barn swallows, and grosbeaks to name only a few treasured guests. Each year in a quick, fiery blaze of orange and black Orioles make our home theirs for a short time, enjoying citrus fruit we put out. Sugar Point is a migration route so as much as possible, the landscape is left intact. There are bulrushes and rocky patches all along the beach. The natural splendor of the shallow shoreline is a draw for swans as ice comes off the lake in early spring. They stop only briefly on their way north but enjoying their company for the two weeks or so they share with us is pure magic. Taking a walk along the same bewitching shoreline in summer can suddenly take a very scary horror movie twist when a booming "Baah-RONK" echoes from surrounding reeds. Especially when frogs and all those gentle marshy sounds go deafeningly quiet! As much as it may sound like a swamp monster, the bittern looks more like a harmless reed from a distance. A dull brownish color, it stands with its long neck stretched upward, beak pointed toward the sky. Bitterns eat small aquatic creatures hence the sudden quiet when one starts talking. Sugar Point Trail mid-summer is an enchanting sight. Bulrushes dwarf the winding road, swaying rhythmically beneath yellow-headed blackbirds. Red-winged blackbirds join in, adding a cheerful pop of color to the mix. Blue herons fish in the ditches and Sandhill cranes feast on crops in bordering fields. Varieties of woodpeckers can be seen climbing trees everywhere. Over the summer we watch families of ducks and geese grow up. We also host pelicans and eagles. Sandpipers bounce along the beach and there's no shortage of seagulls. Killdeers practice their broken wing routines leading imaginary predators away from nests and hawks frequent telephone poles watching for movement that might become prey, as do ravens magpies, even owls. Starlings chase crows across the sky, a reminder there's a constant battle going on. As fall becomes winter the bird scene changes drastically, but stays colorful. Chickadees, blue jays, cedar waxwings, wrens and nuthatches take turns at the feeders with juncos and finches. Sparrows join in, hopping up and down, chattering. Before long the snow is covered with tiny footprints and scattered shells. Whatever season, it's always great laughing with neighbours, enjoying bird escapades at Sugar Point. http://www.interlakepulse.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer

The Jewel in the Interlake’s Shining Crown
Bird Escapades
Destination Wedding
Wild Eats – Tasty Treats
Living on the Lake

2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer