Sunday, July 1, 2012

ONE MORE LOOK AT THE BIRDS

click photos to enlarge





The lake is hot!  If it doesn't get a large shot of cold water soon, I fear there may be a fish kill.  There's nothing that can be done about it.


Ever wonder what happens to the Easter ducks you got for the kids and ended up taking them to the lake and dumping them out?  Some make it and most don't.  The bad thing about dumping them out is that they often cross breed with wild species and a bastardized version is the result.  As usual its a people thing.
 A blue winged teal blasted out from behind shrubbery at the water's edge, taking me by surprise.
Herons, cormorants and ospreys are the predominant species of birds on the upper, river end of this lake.  I enjoy photographing them.   Today I tried to get close ups of some of these birds I passed up a lot of good shots because I already have some great shots on file.  This may be the last entry dedicated to the photography of wading birds.  I fear readers will begin to tire of the same old subject.  Anyway, I tried to get in close today to capture individual bird detail.  The great egret's are gorgeous to see in life and it is difficult to reproduce them digitally.  The osprey is fast and furious, yet a perfect parent.   I hope you find the following shots just a little interesting.



My favorite duck is the wood duck.  Their colors are gorgeous and they are one of the speediest ducks on the planet.  Crafty and wary - they present a challenge to the camera.  The great egret is another of my favorite.  I used to "just see them" standing around.  I never really "saw" them.  Their plumage is spectacular resembling white and silver Christmas ice cycles that hang on the living room Christmas tree.  That plumage almost was the cause of their demise starting in the early 1900's.  Plume hunters.
 Above and below:  A giant, irate great blue heron chases a great egret away from his hunting territory.  The big blue heron squawked and flew after the egret.
 Great egrets are absolutely spectacular, elegant, beautiful and are part of the natural decoration of the wild places.



The egrets were here in great numbers today.  I turned up the Nolichucky River and found them in quantities of twenty to a group.  I immediately wondered if there might be a rookery up stream on that river.

A great blue heron stands quietly with his huge wings outstretched in an attempt to allow body heat to disperse.  There is't much he can do today as the ambient temperature is 102 degrees.
 He became startled when my huge white boat came a bit too close to his private space.
I was sorry to have made him fly away.   Flying takes energy and creates more heat.  I was sorry for the intrusion and the stress I caused this great bird.











































How about a double crested cormorant or two - Up Close.?








Below are a few more of these guys.

 I love to watch the stampede when a flock takes off.









I have been on the lake now for six hours and it was time to get out of here.  The temperatures are hovering at 102 degrees and I drank three quarts of water and had no more.  The old abandoned water tower used for replenishment of the boiler water on the steam powered locomotives of days gone by appeared just ahead.  I always wanted a couple shots of this historical monument so I stopped the boat and hiked to the edge of a very swampy area and was forced to stop.



Its interesting that TVA knocked down all the homes and barns in the Tennessee Valley to build the dams but, spared some historical sites during the destructive process.  I better be quiet or they may come back and finish off what they overlooked.  TVA is the perfect destroyer of history in Tennessee.

The heat of the day was a killer.  I sure hope it rains soon.  I want to go on a camp with Shade but the holiday coming up will insert a lot of people into the forests and especially on the lakes.  I don't know what to do.  I may take the canoe up the Nolichucky River tomorrow at some point.  Its only a hundred degrees out so that isn't too bad to paddle a canoe in.  We'll see what happens tomorrow.  See ya later.



I'll never let him go.