Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wacissa Afternoon

If we didn't learn a lot today,
At least we learned a little!
And if we didn't learn a little,
At least we didn't get sick!
And if we got sick, at least we
weren't plucked naked and
served on a platter with
roasted potatoes!
So, let us be thankful!
~Harriet, the Zen Hen

What a great day to go paddling! I got there just as the Wilderness Way group was returning, so I had the river to myself almost the entire time I was out.

As I was drifting downstream (this is a downstream-first river), I spotted this egret along the shoreline, highlighted in the sun.

He made his way forward at about the same pace as my drift. Apparently he didn't want company, as off he went; up,


and away!

I don't normally photograph coots or moorhens or gallinules, but this young one was posing so nicely on a stump in the water, I couldn't resist.

The sun was beaming down on this great blue heron doing a plausable swan imitation (this is a shallow river, it was no doubt actually walking on the bottom).

There is a tree branch near the Blue Spring inlet that almost always has some kind of bird perched on it. On this day it was a tricolored heron, with one leg tucked up.

Speaking of Blue Spring, of course I paddled to it. Very pretty, very quiet, and very without birds when I was there. So, back to the river proper.

There were, as last time, a lot of white birds--egrets, ibis, and juvenile little blue herons. I was approaching a very pretty snowy egret fishing in the surface greenery and wanted to show you how great he looked in the sun against all the green leaves. But, er...well...these things don't always work out. Here he is, anyway....

I was sitting back in the kayak enjoying the ride, and almost didn't see this young ibis--talk about effective camouflage. He was blending in very well.

I came to a juvenile little blue heron doing that wing thing where they spread their wings to create shade over the water, which attracts the little fish that they are after. I watched this one do it for a long time.



And then he left to try somewhere else...

I also very rarely photograph cormorants. They are as common as moorhens. But this one was just sitting there, and I liked the red leaf behind him, so I raised the camera.

Uh oh, a shy cormorant, guess he didn't like being photographed.

Once again, as happened last time, I was pleasantly surprised to come up on a group of wood ducks that included males.

I was about to turn around and head back upstream when I saw the unmistakable outline of a great blue heron on a little vegetation island ahead of me. Ok, maybe I will drift just a little while longer.

Here's the thing, though. The current is a little stronger as you get to this point and so I was moving closer to him as I set up and captured that image. There was a nice little break in the greenery for me to pass by him on the right, but I didn't think he would like me being so close. Sure enough, he began his escape,

achieved liftoff,

and off he goes.

I turned around then and paddled upstream. This tricolored heron was standing at the edge of the water.

As I was coming to Duck Island, near the boat ramp, I came to more woodies!

My car was the only one in the parking lot when I got back to the boat ramp--this is definitely my favorite time of year to paddle this river!

I've got a lengthy camping trip coming up but will get back out paddling after I return. Stand by.


Beverly said...

Beautiful birds as always.

Sandra said...

its been a while since you went paddling and photographing and it was worth he wait. these are all beautfiul. some of them looks like the sunshine just reached down and painted the birds to make the shine for your camera. I love all the dancing and flying and leaping and floating.

Big Bend Blog said...

Beautiful photographs! I just thought that I would point out that the snowy egret was actually a little blue heron. You can tell because its legs are yellow and not black. It's very cool to see one that white!

Beverly Hill said...

Beautiful photos. What type of camera are you using?

Peggy said...

Thanks for the correction, Big Bend, on the heron--I'm usually the one telling people to use the legs for ID! What was I thinking? Beverly, I use a Nikon D300 with a Nikkor 80-400mm lens on it when in the kayak.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

It's been a great October to paddle, even down here in the Everglades. Deer flies have been bad though. :^(

Stevenson's Sanibel Condo Rentals said...

Great photos!!

Kelly_Deal said...

Hi Peggy! I just came across your blog and I'm happy I did! Your photographs are beautiful! I'll be working on my photography skills tomorrow on sandhill cranes in Indiana.

Springman said...

Your photography is great!
Come check out World Bird Wednesday, a place for bird photographers to share their blogs. It going on at
Your Invited!

Nishi said...

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Liveoutside said...

Hi Peggy,
It's been a long time since I've visited your site, but I can see you're as good as ever!!! Love them

PS I've been blogging a bit myself
If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.
Albert Einstein

Sam Crowther said...

Great shots! Thanks for posting.