Working in the medical field has challenges, like “SEASON”. This is when population increases due to visiting snowbirds; not birds. My rural area becomes supercharged with human activity. It takes me an extra 3 minutes to pull out onto US 1 and another 3 min. to pull into work! Hospital census climbs and this induction process leaves me hungry for nature. Time to Hit the Trails!! On my first day off spied a Purple Gallinule. Oh she probably felt like me; gosh another human in my territory… Always love spying their vibrant blue amongst the reeds. Interestingly enough there is another species quite similar called the Purple Swamphen, saw them today too along with the Common Gallinule. Incredible Mother Nature!
The Purple Swamphen has a red crown and pinkish legs, unlike the lavender crown of the Purple Gallinule who also sports bright yellow legs. Swamp hens are considered an invasive species, “The purple swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) is not native to any State, and competes with native species” So the word has it the Purple Swamphen has been added to the ABA Checklist. (Area Breeding Checklist) This action by the ABA Checklist Committee in 2013. Thankfully one can not kill this species and will not be part of the “exotic hunting opportunity” as in the past. Below you can see both in the reeds, the Purple Gallinule has the bright yellow legs.
Could watch the Great Blue Heron all day long. Here are a few pics captured as they were foraging nesting material. Soon we should hear the clacking of little chicks! Nesting birds could be seen everywhere! Here the lovely female Anhinga graciously incubates her eggs.
Spring is in the air and focus back on capturing the illusive Kingfisher. So up before dawn after copious amounts of caffeine, trek through the woods to where we know Mr Kingfisher dwells, set up the blind and patiently wait. This was my view of his favorite perch from the blind. It’s a bit crisp today, as one exhales breath is like smoke, tips of my nose and fingers cold and the leaves crunch beneath my shoes. Yup a great day to capture the illusive Kingfisher tempting you as he flies away singing that well known chatter. Saw him catch a big minnow and bang it victoriously against a branch. Oh he was knocking it dead, tenderizing for the “big swallow”. Sadly would watch it from afar as my fave bird; Great Blue Heron strutted in and scared him “on high”. Was determined to catch him with the help of my mentor and teacher; Ron Bielefeld. Patience is key ! It’s hard to see captured on film Belted Kingfisher pounding his fish against the pine limb! Was ecstatic knowing snapped a few shots before his ascent. Accompanied by three professional photographers on this day and the blind appeared to work for us however he had no tolerance for walking pedestrians, nor the Little Blue Heron or the Cattle Egrets! Below is an example of the momentary visitations :)
Sitting here smiling taking in this amazing moment. Yes, true wildlife photographers are patient diligent and massively in love. My new acquaintance filmed one of these frustrating encounters, five minutes before a human and his dog came on the scene, such keen eyesight they have. See the wind blow through his crest and hear nature all around us? This is the reason we visit nature. Was it worth the wait? No doubts about it. Now I can share with my family and my mom who would love to join me and now can. Thanking Our Creator for His Amazing Creations, and the gift of dominion. My heartfelt prayer is to always hold life sacred, thankful for this moment in time. Certainly hope you enjoyed a little bit of what we saw, a gift indeed. “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ― Mark Twain