Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just killin' time

The other morning I was scouting an area to see if any tarpon had moved in on the last moon. As I drifted with the current, I was reminded of all the shy animals that inhabit the marshes. Many of these are never seen, unless you make a point of looking for them. One of the first birds that I noticed was a red winged black bird. While not the shyest in the marsh, they always seem to be back in the reeds.

As I drifted a little further along the alligators began to show themselves. They tend to sink out of sight until things settle down, then will go about their routines.

I began to hear the call of least bitterns, but couldn't see them. These smallest of the heron clan are very shy and stay perfectly still when alarmed. I finally found a couple of them and managed to get a few pictures of a couple of males in breeding plumage.

I didn't find any females in this area, but did find one a few hundred yards away.

The female's coloration is very similar to that of an American bittern, but they are much smaller in size. While I looking at her, I saw something dark moving through the reeds. I eased around the corner and spotted a common moorhen moving through the reeds.

As a parting shot, a group of snowy egrets flew over. Here's my rendition.

Oh yea, the tarpon that I was looking for ...well you'll just have to come down!


  1. Beautiful photos Capt. Ron!!

  2. Thanks cowgirl, this is my version of "a walk through the pasture".

  3. I've not seen the bittern in breeding plumage...impressive!

  4. They are beautiful little birds, but you have to be patient to find them.