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Friday, May 25, 2012

Muck Birding

Last night I dreamed I was in a swamp and almost put my hand on a Cottonmouth.  I should have known it was going to be one of those days.

A good day, but a mucky one!  After finding a Semipalmated Plover (2012 County Bird #204) I got a text saying there was a singing Prothonotary Warbler at the other end of the reservoir.  Boots would be required to see the bird.

How bad could the mud be?  How badly did I want this local rarity for my year list?

20 minutes later, I'm in a swamp that looks like my dream, ankle deep in mud.  Fortunately I did hear the bird.  I was even able to photograph it with my Nikon CoolPix P500.


What?  You can't see the bird?  It was 100 yards away, how good a shot did you expect me to get?  Does this help?


 Maybe this will help you out...


OK, the photo stinks.  But at that distance with my handheld camera at maximum 36x zoom, could have been worse!

At one point, for maybe a couple seconds, it was actually closer, but mostly 2012 County Bird #205 was just heard singing and gave me only a quick glimpse. 

Hiking back out of the swamp we ran into this mother giving birth:


Looks painful.  And muddy.




Here you can barely see a couple of her eggs under the mother snapping turtle's hind digging foot.  This was her second hole, about 10 yards away from where she was seen digging a bit earlier.


It's a tough world out there for little turtle eggs.  Here's hoping a few evade the raccoons, and are able to make it out of this newly planted field alive.



3 comments:

Laurence Butler said...

Neat post Rob. It seems like often times the clean and pretty birds require you to get dirty if you want to see them.

It's not every birding blog that has a turtle laying eggs (maybe Turtle Doves?) Very cool, nice documentation!

C said...

that's EXACTLY how my bird photos (with my phone camera)come out....I can really identify with this photographic struggle.

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