Flocking to occupy small street
They know exactly what they want. Unlike some, they are a hungry crowd – and they have a leader. He’s got them moving in one direction. Up one side of the street and down the other. Always stepping on the grass…and poking it. The sudden rain doesn’t deter them. They’ve traveled a long way to land here. In uniform step, they march.
Local residents are being patient. Slowly inching cars past them. Keeping barking dogs inside. No one wants an incident. The neighbors are peering through windows and creeping out to take pictures. Just for evidence. (No one is going to believe this.)
We saw groups of them march down residential blocks near the lake during September. They had tolerated enough. They played in the yard sprinklers. Well, understandable. It was hot and extremely dry. Those flocks moved on after a while.
This invasion was a complete surprise.
The drought is as bad as they have been saying. The migrating birds must have found their normal stopping grounds of rice fields, pastures, and farm lands dry and barren. We are just a few blocks from a wetlands, but the flock’s appearance means there’s too many birds for available marshes. So the leader moved his followers into the neighborhood. Tender greens. Bugs. Rain water in gutters. It’ll do.
It’s only a brief stop.
The clouds are marching south, too. This flock is about an hour ahead of the strong cold front and the storm. The leader is paying attention. Seems to know with food scarce, his feathered followers will tire more easily.
Shortly the winds will switch. That means they will have a strong tailwind pushing them on to their final destination. Should make it by nightfall. Ready to occupy for the winter.
Observing a short invasion,
Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.
NOTE: Not a bird person, so not sure if these were White Ibis or some kind of cranes. (The neighborhood apparently feeds whatever shows up)