Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TENNESSEE RIVER VIEWS

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
I just came in from a run down the Tennessee River to blow the cob webs out of the Gheenoe. I poked a ragged hole in her side and had to put the boat in the shop for some fiberglass repair. She's fine and good as new. I didn't expect to see much wildlife this morning but what little I did see was impressive. I have never photographed baby Ospreys and finally got that opportunity to do so today. Actually, the photo above is a Osprey chick. They are just about ready to leave the nest. Also, I ran into a Black Crowned Night Heron. This bird ranges in size from 23" to 28" tall  and resembles the Great Blue Heron in some ways. Actually, in very few ways. The Night Heron is a bit more shy and is difficult to photograph due to it's secluded habits. But, I got one today. My friends the Kingfishers were out and I captured one in rather dramatic flight. Anyway; I hope you enjoy the photos.
A young Cormorant was swimming past and then took flight. I don't know the birth cycle of this species but I have run into them back in mid Spring. This one could not fly. Try as he did; he couldn't get out of the water.
A beaver splashed his tail in the water just about the time the Cormorant attempted flight. I could not get a picture of him.
The boat quietly moved past an Osprey.
And yes; my old friend. It wouldn't be much of a river ride without seeing the Great Blue Heron
The water was silky smooth and the river's edge is green, green, green!
This river has rock face cliffs that run clear to the tops of the ridges from the lake below. They are home to a multitude of animals, mainly the black and turkey vultures. Geese have actually been nesting on the flat parts of the stone face of these cliffs.
Just about here is when the Kingfisher started taunting me.
Check out the flight pattern on the Kingfisher above. Whew; Tuff shot!
Then another appeared and launched just as quick. I almost missed him.
Below are a series of Kingfisher shots I was lucky enough to get.
Almost missed this take off also.
The bird below is the Black Crowned Night Heron. They are beautiful and are powerful in flight. Their elegance is unequaled when on the wing.
Note the long feather on the base of the head.
I hope I'm not boring you with the Night Heron but, they are not easy to photograph and they are not as prolific on the lakes as the Great Blue Heron.. Each shot contains a slightly different pose.
And then he got tired of my persistence and flew away. Gorgeous in flight!
Imagine the power in those wings
He flies directly away from me and disappears.
The Black Crowned Night Heron was a great sight. But, below is the highlight of the morning. The Osprey chicks. They will be gone any day and maybe any hour.
There are three babies. One normally drops out of the scheme of things before this age. The parents of these chicks are very lucky to have had all three survive.
The nest is atop a tripod structure near a dock on the river that serves a factory of some sort. There are barges near by. Osprey are opportunists when it comes to nest building. They did a fine job with this nest. What a great success story with this nest of birds.
Remember; these are babies. The parents are having a fit. I shan't stay long here.
Oh; this bird is watching me like a hawk. No pun intended. There is distrust in his eyes.
Eyes that can see through your soul!!
I took a quick photo as the mother launched off the tree top and I headed for home. It's going to rain soon.
I really enjoyed this morning in the Gheenoe. It is a magic carpet to the waterways for me. Just a couple more photos. If you see something like in the photo's below; notify some responsible agency. A situation like this is uncalled for in this day and age. Until next time; stay safe and please help a dog or two.
Below is what I did this morning: What'd you do?
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