Birder's Eye View

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Herons, Shrikes and Ducks

"Not all who wander are lost." - JRR Tolkien

After an entire day of researching and studying for my ecology class, I decided to take the evening to go birding around campus. And believe you me, nothing relaxes the mind like a good hour of birding.

It's almost meditational, zen-like for me. After growing up in a quiet lifestyle, college has been overwhelming. I am glad I have birding though; I was able to relax for a while and enjoy outdoors without worrying about my presentation next week or my 8-page paper I need to write.

My first find was a Great Blue Heron near the waterfront, resting on the "No Wake Zone" sign. I was able to get fairly close to it.

I am not sure, but I think these are Mottled Ducks. Can anyone confirm this? They don't seem to be Mallards, although I could be wrong; comparing the picture to my field guide, the best possible candidate seems to be the Mottled Duck. If this is true, it'll be a life bird for me!

I was surprised when I came around the corner of the pond and found a Loggerhead Shrike sitting on a snag. This is the first time I've ever had the opportunity to photograph a shrike, and I'm very happy with how well it came out.

I was able to get really close before the bird flew away. It was a great opportunity to see the bird up close and examine some of its markings.

I continued down the beach and came across a beautiful Little Blue Heron hunting in the shallows.

There were many herons and egrets in the area and I had a blast photographing them in the light of the setting sun. (I tried to upload them, but for some reason Blogger isn't working well at the moment)

I followed the various walkways through campus, checked out the lakes and ponds, mangroves, oak and palm hammocks. It was a wonderful evening and a great start to what will surely be a busy week.

Until next time,

Happy birding!

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