What follows are some of my favorite bird and people photographs of 2018. I'm fond of calling these "indicator photos," or photos that indicate the importance, the health, and the vitality of a restored river: the Elizabeth River in SE Virginia. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed creating them. … Continue reading The Year 2018 in Pictures
We'll continue to "interrupt this program"--our recent series of posts on bird flight--so that we can tie up a few loose ends. We'll resume our discussion of bird flight in the next blog, I promise. We'll call this our "loose ends," blog, then. And it will be shorter. They say that ideal blog length is … Continue reading Loose Ends
In the last blog (last photo), I posted a photo of an Osprey carrying a fish. It was lunchtime on the Elizabeth. That fish, caught in the waters just off Money Point in Chesapeake, VA, that former Elizabeth River "dead zone," appeared to weigh about as much as the Osprey. Heck, it likely weighed more! Here's another picture of the same bird a few wing beats--and a few burned calories--down the flight path. One wouldn't use "down the road" there.
We'll start with another shoutout. But this time to the planners of the 2018 Riverfest, which raised everyone's awareness about the progress that is being made to restore the Indian River in Chesapeake, VA. This may not be an exciting photo, but to me it speaks to the beauty of this Elizabeth River tributary.
Or is it "Two Shoutsout"? Anyway...I want to start with a shoutout to those who went on the Great Migration Bird Walk on Sat. 9/29 at Paradise Creek Nature Park. It was a beautiful, birdy morning. Paradise lived up to its name. And we had a great group of 16 people including a few young people who were exploring the hobby. I had a nice conversation with one young lady (Epona?) who was on her very first day trip. She'd gone on an owl prowl previously. I asked her if she sensed any excitement in the others on the trip. She responded with a smile and a very definitive "yes." That meant to me that she was excited too. I have a feeling she has caught the birding spark. That's my hope, anyway.
Hurricane Florence, that 'uninvited brute,' though more like a 'minor annoyance' here, had made landfall in North Carolina. My wife and I went for a walk at the Elizabeth River Park in Chesapeake. Water levels were unusually high. One of the docks was completely underwater and we noted fish in the parking lot. Something in the bushes that line the park spooked me. It was an immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron wrestling with something in the grass. It was wrestling with a grasshopper.
I've begun to make a case for bird watching. Birds are beautiful, they capture the imagination, one can enjoy the hobby alone or with others, etc., etc. Let me add, if I may, one more reason to go birding. (I'll add more reasons as time goes on.) Birding is downright exciting. You never know what you might come across!