Friday, February 26, 2010

Not Paddling at Hagan's Cove

I dream of wayward gulls and all landless lovers,
rare moments of winter sun, peace, privacy, for everyone.
~William Clair

I believe that if I did not have my new little camper to get out and about in, this winter weather would have driven me batty long ago. Paddling seems like a thing of the past, and I see no opportunities in the near future. So this blog is temporarily wandering off on tangents, but only away from the kayak paddle, not birds.

I didn't get out camping this week, so I decided to take a ride out to Hagan's Cove. It was cold out, even in terms of Florida wimpishness. I was the only one there. I had taken a sandwich to have for lunch. I parked facing out of the boat ramp in the area you get to before the main picnic part. There I was, munching away at my sandwich, hoping an egret would come by. I saw a flock of birds coming toward me from far away. Too many to be egrets, too many and too big to be gulls. For a while I just sat and watched them approach, then decided to get the binoculars out of the little compartment in the car. Hmmm, black at the end of the wings. They could be ibis, which might make a good photo if they come closer.

They approached in a line, which is unusual for ibis, it seems they usually clump more. All of a sudden this seemed interesting, so I put down the sandwich and grabbed the camera and got out of the car. Look at that--white pelicans! This is fewer than half of them in that line:

I was lucky; they kept getting closer.

This was so exciting!--these are not that common around here, and it's very special to see them. I watched as they flew by and then headed over the trees to parts unknown.

I hung around the cove for a while, just enjoying the scenery. And then I drove out slowly over the mile of dirt road to the main highway. I spotted something brown and furry over to the side of the road and stopped the car. There were two raccoons there--I haven't seen a raccoon for a long time! I couldn't take the picture through the windshield, too much glare. So I got out of the car, hoping for the best. This one stopped to look at me standing by my car.

The trick to seeing wildlife here is to go very slowly and be observant. This egret was fishing in the grass by the road.

On the other side and a little further on I spotted this one on a branch, sporting some impressive breeding plumage.

That was all for this day as far as bird spotting. Nice to get out and see them. I have high hopes for some more photos coming up soon, which, though it won't be on a paddling trip, will be posted here if they turn out ok. Stand by.


Sandra said...

wonderful pics of the white pelicans in flight, I have only seen them once in my life. On Christmas day 2 years ago, we went to get the sunrise and we did and floating in the glow were lovely white pelicans. the first and only I have ever seen. LOVE the racoon. looks to me like you are finding great things to do inspite of the weather and no kayak.

Cowboygrrl said...

How about a pic of that cute, little camper? Beautiful picturesl and thanks for posting them. I really enjoy them.

Peggy said...

Hey cowboygrrl! The camper shows up a lot on the camping blog at (I wish I knew how to format links here) --check it out!


Floridacracker said...

Wonderful shots! I've rediscovered your beautiful blog after giving it up when I was on dial up. The great photos just took forever to load, but now, finally, I'm off dialup and can enjoy your stuff again.

Suzanne said...

These are wonderful pictures! I've never seen the pelicans. It looked like they were flying in formation like geese from one of the shots. The racoon was so cute -- great shot. And the egrets -- as always -- are enchanting. I'm glad you got out on such a cold day. It's our treat!

katney said...

We get a flock of white pelicans inour area each year, migrating from south. It is amazing to be going down the highway and see them flying in formation as they do.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Life on the water ... is the good life. Keep on paddling and photographing. I'm starting to think hard about a mid-range camera ... something better than my hand-held water proof (which just won't die, but doesn't take good pictures either.)

South Georgia Kayak Fishing said...

Hi Peggy! Great stuff, as always! Recently took my daughter kayaking at Hagan's Cove. While we were out someone broke into my truck. I think someone scared them off before much was taken. I noticed that the couple of people who launched from there during our trip did not leave their vehicle/trailer unattended but both had someone drop them off. Don't know if it's a recurring problem but just a "heads up".