2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer - (Page 8)
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
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.
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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.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer
The Jewel in the Interlake’s Shining Crown
Wild Eats – Tasty Treats
Living on the Lake
2016 Interlake Pulse - Spring/Summer