Friday, March 11, 2011

The End is in Sight

Florida 2010 posts continued...

As I made my way along the Cruickshank Trail I saw a plethora of birds, big and small, short and tall. In an effort to finish this series up I have eliminated a bunch of stuff, and focused on just a few images.

I managed to get a series of shots, starting with it hitting the water, of this Osprey. Too bad it was too far away to get good shots of it. It heaved itself out of the water, struggling with its catch. I was amazed to see it shake the water off as it was flying and carrying such a load. I've seen Osprey catch fish before, and every time I am impressed by their strength.

This Anhinga looked like a water snake as it glided along, its body just under the surface of the water.

A small group of White pelicans drifted by, beaks in the water, swishing back and forth, filtering food. A tern looks for handouts. Unlike the Brown pelican, which dives for its food, the white feeds from the surface.

I don't know what the hell this is, but I am glad I wasn't swimming with it--look at those teeth!! Someone made a meal of it, though.

The best moment of the hike for me happened about a mile from the end. I had gotten to the point where I was tired and ready to be done. As I trudged along, some movement ahead of me on the trail caught my eye, and I stopped dead in my tracks. What I saw got me so excited I nearly piddled in my pants--

--an Eastern meadowlark!

It had apparently not seen me coming, didn't notice me until after I had stopped, and so wasn't sure what to think of me. The bird eyed me warily.

By the time the meadowlark turned its bright yellow breast my way it had moved into the shade, making it hard to get good shots.

Several minutes went by before this beautiful bird flew off into the grasses, alighting on a small shrub. I was hoping it would sing for me, but no such luck. That's OK. I was so happy to see this bird, another first for me, that its silence only gives me something else to look forward too--hearing one sing.

And so ends the Florida 2010 posts. Hope you enjoyed them, cuz I'm on my way back down. I hope to return with better images, and some more firsts.


  1. Hello Marie! What a great photo of the osprey. And the fine photos of the beautiful little lark. Thank you, I have enjoyed your Florida posts.
    That fish looks much like a pike? My brother once caught a pike, and when he went back he had to cross a brook; he stumbled and his hand ended deep down into the pike's mouth. I'm sure you can figure out, how his hand looked after these barbs had torn it. Hospital and tetanus-injection! But he had a story about a big fish to tell, and now I'm telling you!

  2. Grethe: I have photos from a trip to Upper Michigan of an Osprey eating a pike, and I've caught several myself over the years. I have special pike gloves to handle them--aside from the teeth, they are very slimy and I don't like getting it all over me!