Friday, February 06, 2009

February

In the depths of winter I finally learned
there was in me an invincible summer.
~Albert Camus

Last night the predicted low temperature in a town in Minnesota was to be 27 degrees. Last night in north Florida our low temperature was 17 degrees.

Needless to say, it has been less than ideal paddling weather. I did get out a while back on a warmer day. I didn't get many photos and so I did not post that trip. However, I've decided to post it now, since it's been a while since I have updated this blog!

The first bird spotted was an osprey, in a very popular tree (for birds) near the boat ramp. I have seen many osprey perched there, as well as a juvenile bald eagle recently.



I drifted downstream into only a light breeze. Again there were very few snowy egrets but several juvenile little blue herons (and still none showing signs of adult coloring...). This one came in for a landing on a branch nearby.



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As I mentioned, I didn't get many photos; another problem was that most of the photos I did get were of the same thing. There was a very large flock of ibis, a mix of adults and juveniles, that was swooping around from tree to tree. It was very impressive to see, and I was just snapping away at them. While swooping around, they landed in a tree near me, but shortly after flew from that. Here is a sampling of the many images I came home with.



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As always, the yellowlegs were out and about. This one flew by in front of me.



It was a short trip that yielded only a few photos, but it was wonderfully quiet on the river. The small gator was at Blue Spring; still no sign of the big one.

It appears that warmer weather may be returning (at least warmer than in Minnesota) soon, and so perhaps I can get back out. I hope so, I am getting just a touch of cabin fever here...

Stand by.

8 comments:

Katney said...

Are blue herons white until they are grown, then? Earlier this week, after taking a thirteen mile detour to return to a spot where is saw a heron in passing--and he flew away as I got back--I saw another bird in flight. Its profile was that of a heron (I think they look like pteradactyls when flying.) and it was large, but it was pure white. The only other large white birds I've seen in the area are white pelicans, and they fly differently and only return from the south sometime in March. Could this have been a juvenile heron?

Peggy said...

Little blue herons start out white and slowly get their adult coloring of a blue-ish gray. But they are small, the same size as snowy egrets (less than half the size of a great blue heron). Common, or great, egrets look just like great blue herons except they are pure white. Could it have been one of those?

Suzanne said...

I was so excited to see you had a new post. The osprey and other photos are gorgeous. For myself, I can only say that I appreciate every picture. I love the birds and critters you see and you're stories about your experience. I'm beginning to feel like the ones you see regularly are old friends -- I like to see what they are up to this time and learn about their habits. Every picture seems different to me. Thank you!

amarkonmywall said...

I'm completely smitten with your little heron- what lovely photos! It has been chilly down here but today was a nicer day to be out and about. I watched two osprey dive a bald eagle repeatedly over Lake Maggiore in south St. Petersburg.

Heather said...

Wow, what fantastic photos. I love seeing all your water birds. Those photos of the ibis flock in flight and landing in the trees were really cool. I'm hoping to do some photography from my kayak this year, but I need to get the right gear first (don't have any way to waterproof my camera right now).

Nature Nut said...

Gorgeous photos. Since I only recently started following your blog, I am very excited about seeing your warmer season pictures to come.
Thank you so much for sharing!

Katney said...

I don't think we have egrets ths far north. I have never seen any before. But then again, I had never seen the white pelicans until suddenly one day I did.

Sandy said...

I have you bookmarked and forget to come here, forgetting how wonderful your photos are.