Sunday, July 11, 2010

Herons on the Wacissa

High from the earth I heard a bird;
He trod upon the trees
As he esteemed them trifles,
And then he spied a breeze,
And situated softly
Upon a pile of wind
Which in a perturbation
Nature had left behind.
~Emily Dickinson

I read an article online recently that offered tips on avoiding boredom in your outdoor activities. The item related to paddling suggested that you not return too often in too short a time to the same place to paddle. Hmmm. I can't agree with that. I can see how burnout could occur if you kept going someplace that had nothing particularly new to offer from one visit to the next...but how many bodies of water are like that?

As it turned out, we changed our Wakulla plans (see previous post) because we couldn't time it quite right for the tide, and we returned to the Wacissa. We are far from bored with the Wacissa. And the birds are coming back! Actually...only some of the birds, but in numbers. I was amazed at all the green herons on the river. Normally I can take six paddling trips and not see even one, and on the seventh trip, I'll see one but it will fly away long before I can get a photo of it. Not only were they everywhere on this trip, but they were not shy at all. This one became a bit alarmed when a little blue heron landed near it, and up shot that long neck!

I love it when these long-necked birds look right at me.

Another bird that we saw often on this trip was the juvenile night heron--lots of them. This one peered at me from the shoreline.

We drifted downstream, this time under clear blue skies. I had just finished saying that I wondered if there were any great blue herons around when I spotted this one across the river and went over to it. It was drying its wings as I approached.

As I got closer, it folded its wings and watched me--

--and then flew into a nearby tree and posed some more.

I saw an adult moorhen with chicks around it swim into the shoreline vegetation, and a little farther downriver spotted this mother wood duck with its babies.

After we turned around and headed back upstream, I saw this pair of female woodies perched on a log that is very popular with them--it's not uncommon to see several woodies in this spot.

This immature tricolored heron (adults are not as red) was fishing near the back entrance to Blue Spring.

This was apparently a good day for wing-drying. This young night heron was a little more shy about it.

It was great to see so many birds again on this river. The next paddling trip(s) will be during an upcoming visit to North Carolina. Stand by.


Sandra said...

the last photo made me smile and I like the one peering at you and your camera. these are wonderful and there is no way you could ever get bored with all the wild life out there. keep going back and posting. I love all your photos and am glad to see when a post appears.
i take photos of flowers in my yard every year and never get bored.

Beverly said...

Wonderful photos. I think that if I were a kayaker, I would never tire of seeing these birds either. I love when they show up in the neighborhood, and I especially love your photos.

The Florida Blogger said...

There's not many bodies of water in Florida that remain static. But there are plenty of rivers, lakes, and salt water to be explored.