American White Pelicans

I spent hours yesterday watching the American White Pelicans.  Mid-Day a large flock of what I think were migrators circled down from sky. I would guess around 300 birds. The flock lined up along the windblown bank of the Cumberland River. Barkley Dam also had gates open that were pushing the current against the same bank. There are times these large birds work together to herd fish.

The flock stayed about four hours before taking off in groups. The groups circling higher and higher and getting together before heading north west. When the birds arrived the skies were overcast. When they departed the skies were absolutely splendid. A vibrant blue cloud dappled sky that almost takes your breath away to look at, especially after all the dark rainy days we have had. I headed home feeling blessed. Shortly after arriving home the skies clouded up again and rain began to fall. I am guessing this flock was staying ahead of the storms that wreaked havoc further south.

If my assumptions are true the migrating birds are early to be heading for their breeding grounds in North Dakota. Last spring in one photo I took I could read the band on one birds leg. The report back on the band said the pelican was banded as a chick in ND.

Will be heading out in the morning to visit our Louisville bunch. May miss a post or two but will try to post daily if I can…

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Today’s Flashback Photo Sandhill Cranes

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Record Warm Day For January

Seventy One Degrees. A record high for January. The first four pics are of a vessel that provides eagle tours on Kentucky Lake in conjunction with the state parks. The folks had a good day for a tour. Overcast skies pushed out and blue skies and sunshine moved in mid-morning. Everywhere I went people where out enjoying the pleasant winter day. I hope that your Sunday is as pleasant as a bit or warmth and sunshine we enjoyed this day…

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Today’s Flashback Photo

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A Warm Day In January

Odd warm weather for mid-January. Wearing a light jacket to start the day. We did get a few glimpses of sunshine early and towards dark. The fisherman came out in numbers. All the boat action moving the pelicans off the river and back over Barkley dam to the lake. Bank fisherman kept the kingfisher I have watched for the last two days from using his spot. Not much eagle action at the river. I saw one eagle pick up a fish. No action at the eagle nest either. I checked another eagle nest but they were not home. Did jump several ducks in that cove. A visit to the heron rockery showed not much happening there either. A little early for the heron to get serious about nesting. Looking back at some old pics to find a flashback photo for today I noticed many snow pics. If you asked me I would have guessed we usually had more snow in January but by my pics from the past five years February is the snowy month. Don’t like to think about that when it was so comfortable out yesterday. Today’s flashback photo is granddaughter Harper from a couple years back. I like her pose, it reminds me of my drill sergeant.

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Today’s Flashback Photo Harper

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Rain Yet Again

It was another rainy day. Determined to get out I put on a raincoat. Snug fit over a jacket or I am a lot fatter than the last time I wore it. I cut a section off a heavy trash bag and wrapped the lens and top of camera, kept that on with rubber bands. Off I went for a couple hours. Then the rain was just too heavy to take photographs.

The most interesting find was a Kingfisher and Grebe catching crayfish. I had watched the kingfisher the other day and it was regurgitating. Left a big pile on the rocks below the railing it was perched on. Now I know it was crayfish shell it could not consume. I had thought it was too cold for crawdads to be active. In the old days when I worked as a fishing guide I would keep up with the water temperature. Below 38 degrees catching was very tough if memory serves. It has been warm enough in that same cove turtles are crawling out on a rock.

My original intent when starting this blog was to capture 12 quality images a day, also to learn to write. Sharing it with anyone interested in the wonders outdoors I so appreciate. Maybe it is time I adjust my thinking. A poor image or images may tell a story. Also that story may take more than that one instant when pressing the shutter. Anyhow, getting out in the rain was worth it. I learned a little.

It was also interesting to watch the two birds once they had caught their prey. The kingfisher would repeatedly bang the crawdad against the wire. Flip it up and chomp it. The grebe would also flip it up and chomp it. Then toss it up and grab it again when it hit the water. I suppose these were methods to kill it. These are the tiny stories of the world of other species that keep me coming back…

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Today’s Flashback Photo American Kestrel

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Sensing A Shift Towards Spring

I am sensing a shift towards spring. Yesterday I saw several high flocks and heard reports of snow geese on the move. Some reports of them moving south and west the geese I saw were moving north and west. I read about huge flocks of snow geese in the Ewing Bottoms In southern Indiana. That is my favorite spot to watch the sandhill cranes this time of year. The sandhill cranes are also being reported as showing up at Cecilia, Kentucky.

I always pictured in my mind that birds would fly south and spend the entire winter then return to their homes their breeding grounds in the spring. I believe I was wrong on that. That at a certain point of the lengthening of daylight the birds start a push towards home. Mid-Winter. The eagle numbers at the river here lesson, I begin to see less feeding each day. Some of the area eagles will nest soon or already are laying eggs. Old man winter usually shows up again in February. It has been one of the warmest January’s I can recall here in Western Kentucky. No, I won’t wish for spring, take it as it comes. Sure after these long stretches of overcast dreary skies a bit of sunshine would be appreciated…

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Today’s Flashback Photo Sharp Shinned Hawk

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