November passed in Nahant Marsh with a crescendo into gold and the arrival and departure of a great many birds. The brief blaze of autumn colors as the green died away was a slow motion show nevertheless, as I watched flock after flock come in to rest and feed awhile.
Flock after flock would take off, too. I never could tell one flock from another of the same type of bird. Occasionally a distinct individual showed up. One greater white fronted goose stands out when hanging out with all those canada geese. So does a swan.
A single white fronted goose was seen out on the marsh for a few days. The lone swan stayed only an hour or so. After resting a bit, eating a bit, preening a bit then resting some more, the swan paddled the length of the marsh and back calling “woo” and listening for an answer.
After a time the swan ran across the surface of the water and flew off. Although I’m not sure if that’s because another swan was heard or because one wasn’t, it did seem that the swan was looking for others.
The gold of autumn drained away quickly on the stiff winds and cold rains of November. The birds have not yet all gone however. Ice has crept and leaped across the water, pushing the remaining birds to the open pools and the still unfrozen river. The ice has apparently claimed the more northern waters, too, because the big trees lining the riverbanks are once again full of wintering eagles.