All the birds are sad and wet, today. I woke up with seven sparrows and a pigeon lined up on my railing, sheltering from the storm. The sparrows were all bunched together near the feeder, peering suspiciously at the pigeon. Then, a pair of crows swooped in, frightening off the pigeon, and sending the sparrows fluttering to the ground. I’m quite certain the crows are nesting nearby: they’ve been very quiet at the feeder, lately. They fly in, eat, and grab some suet to go, no bawking, no window-tapping, no throwing of stones. I hope their fledglings survive. I want to see them.
Speaking of wet, ornery bastards, I was leaning over my balcony railing, trying to photograph starling tongues —
— when I heard a distinct tut-tutting from below. I looked down, expecting to spy a starling fight, but it wasn’t a bird, at all, or even two birds. It was Ilya Nikolayich Dolgonosov, shaking his fist at me! How rude! Before I could restrain myself, I’d forked him the bird; fortunately, I had the presence of mind to bite my tongue on the accompanying raspberry. Seriously, what’s the matter with that man, shaking his fist like some silent-era villain? I half-expected a caption to pop up (on a black background, of course, with a fancy white frame around it) — “I’ll get you!” Who behaves like that? Maybe he thought I was a creeper, looking in people’s windows with my telephoto lens. But there was a pair of starlings RIGHT THERE; I can’t imagine he failed to see them, or at least hear them. What a horrid old wrinklesnout. Next time, I’ll photograph him, see how he fancies five minutes of Internet infamy. (Well, not really. Last time I made fun of an annoying neighbour online, I got caught, and had to apologise. That was embarrassing.)
While on the subject of things that are weird, every once in a while, a huge plume of water erupts from the other side of False Creek, rising nearly as high as the skyscrapers behind it:
What IS that? Why does it happen? Is it on purpose? And if so, do boaters get a warning, before it goes up? — you know, on their boat radios, or something? That could be a miserable soaking, for a boater.
And finally, a wet sparrow: