In Sendai, it is relatively easy to feel your connection with nature. Woods are not far away, and wild animals are actually living right next to us. I have seen a raccoon dog in Dainohara park, a masked palm civet in Hachiman and we all have definitely seen the warning signs about bears near Aobayama. But wild animals are not very excited about communication with people. And what about birds?
I am convinced, that birds love to communicate with us as much as some of us love to communicate with birds. Of course, they like to receive some tasty food for free (who doesn’t?), but it seems for me they love to watch us, and to pose for photos as well. Or at least, some of the birds we communicate with, have nothing against being photographed.
The riverbanks of Hirosegawa are inhabited by different kinds of birds. They live their own lives, absorbed in their own world, searching for food, hunting, quarrelling, engaging in love affairs and breeding their children. We can watch their lives from afar, finding many striking similarities between us and maybe rethinking our own ways of living. Or we can bring some treat for them and earn their trust by offering it.
I like black-headed gulls most of all. They are sometimes nasty, when they engage in a massive fight over some piece of bun dropped by a child assing by, and sometimes they are really sweet, when they just sit in silence, looking so fragile and pretty with their red beaks and little black eyes. When they see a pack of senbei in your hands, they get as close as they can, some even try to grab the food from your fingers, impressing the audience with their braveness (or maybe their lack of self-preservation instinct?).
Swans are different. They never engage in a fight. They are full of dignity that keeps them out of the mess, although they are obviously interested in a chance of getting some delicious snacks. They keep on cruising nearby, watching the other birds and probably hoping that there would come a day when they are fully rewarded for their self-esteem.
All kinds of ducks swim to us, but it seems that some are driven by mere curiosity - what are those horrible gulls doing there? If you are lucky, you can see some funny tufted ducks.
Or a northern pintail, elegant and slim.