Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reelfoot Birds

We got to see some birds not normally found in the Louisville area. Well, someone said these were White Fronted Geese exploring the lake at Big Oak State Park in Missouri. Now that I'm home and checking the field guide, I don't know what they are. Any ideas out there?
The Reelfoot naturalist let us go into the large flight cage for his two Bald Eagles, who were pretty cool about having visitors. Plenty of wild Eagles flew over our parking lot, but they were too high for good pictures.
From our weekend stay, I'd have to say that Great Egrets were the most common bird we saw. They seem very territorial. Each morning we saw an Egret on the same branches around the lakeshore by our resort. If you walked too close though, they flew off, then returned in just a few minutes.
On our hike around the edge of the lake, we saw a handful of American Pelicans preening. It looks like they are standing on water, but there are lots of submerged branches to take advantage of. It only looks like a bird miracle.
The exciting part came when hundreds of Pelicans lifted on a thermal Sunday morning, wheeling and turning until they were high enough to start flying towards their destination farther south. From one angle, there were invisible, then they turned with a flash of white wings, and the next turn made them look black. It was simply fabulous!

video

A Bald Eagle called while we visited, and apparently I've turned off both the recording and sound making abilities of my camera, so there is no sound. I pieced together some individual shots to get the characteristic movements. Hmm, I'll have to get into the camera setup again so I get sound with my movies.

3 comments:

Arlene Ripley said...

Those look like Chinese Swan Geese.
Great Eagle shots -- nice that you got to enter the aviary.

NCmountainwoman said...

What gorgeous photographs! I can't imagine seeing so many Great Egrets.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Arlene. Google
Swan Goose or Chinese Goose
and let us know what you
think.
Hap in New Hope(MN)