The Red-winged Blackbirds, their breeding done, departed about a week after Summer Solstice. They usually leave earlier, but then they usually arrive earlier than they did this year. In any event, they’re gone. The northwest quadrant of the park belongs again to sparrows and finches. In the North Basin, the migrant masses have flown north months ago, and even the nonconformists and outliers, like the female Bufflehead, the pair of Greater Scaup, and the Horned Grebe had either flown away or gone into hiding when I visited their usual haunt shortly after sunrise this morning.
The scene belonged to the summer steadies: three species who are happy with the water’s edge on the east side of the park in July and August. The casual stroller may never see them. You have to step off the pavement onto the herbage and peek over the edge down at the riprap. This morning, a little group of Black Oystercatchers together with their frequent companions, Willets, found things of interest among the rocks and seaweed, and a Snowy Egret, using its patented foot-stirring moves, shook out tasty morsels for a sunrise breakfast. Here’s a two-minute video featuring these seasonal faithfuls: