Tuesday, April 16, 2013

BIG FOOT'S PET TURKEY

This entry is primarily about an enormous turkey gobbler I came upon today but, there is one other oddity I also photographed.
 Ain't goin down there.  No one comes back from ------down there!
I was on the water for thirty minutes and didn't see one duck.  What's up with that?  Even the geese were gone.  I headed upstream past the two mother geese to see if the kids were born yet.
Not yet.  She's still holding tight over the eggs.  Dad was hanging out behind her just in case he was needed.
The mother goose on the other end of the tiny, little island was also sitting on eggs.  This is taking a long time.  Soon now - soon.
I have a knack for turning up odd birds.  This part of Tennessee gets birds that shouldn't be anywhere near here.  I noticed two birds that, at first, thought were bonapart's gulls in breeding colors.  As I got closer I saw they were a tern of some kind.  Then I remember seeing "one" of these last year.  These were common terns.  They are a far north bird.  Who knows how they got here.  Pretty little fellows.



There is an Arctic Tern that looks almost identical but has shorter legs.  The common tern has the orange on the bill and the Arctic does not.  Both have red legs and feet.  Interesting!
I made my turn on the river for the return trip and the turn took me close to the shoreline where I caught a movement at the base of a tree.  The field glasses came out and I saw a little scamp watching me.



Four wood ducks flushed out from the shoreline.  I think they are nesting back in the woods.  Wood duck boxes need to be installed up here to help them out.
A tree swallow posed prettily for me so I took advantage of his offer.



OK, OK - the turkey.  I noticed him back in a meadow when I looked between two trees on the shore.  He was big - biggest turkey my eyes ever saw.





Look behind the gobbler and you will see one or two big hens back in the woods.  I never saw them there until I processed these shots.  That gobbler is huge!  These pictures can't do him justice due to his distance from the lens.  But, he's a big boy!



He became disturbed at the big white boat out on the water and casually walked into the woods and disappeared.  It was a real treat to be able to watch him.  Sweet stuff!
This is one big turtle too.
I'm finding a lot of beaver lodges these days.  The brown color of their wood lodges stands out well as the grass surrounding them turns green.  The lodge below is back away from the water a little way.  Bet there's a tunnel comming up into the bottom of it from the river.  Beavers are so cool!
And there you have the afternoon.  I'm curious about the lack of ducks all of a sudden.   It could be because it's over 80 degrees and bright sun.  I'm sure most of them are hiding out in the secondary water or wetlands that run parallel to the river.  They are hard to see back there.  It was a great day, as usual.

I have four days off in a row starting Thursday and I'll be into the lakes west of here for sure.  Stay tuned.  Thanks for looking in.