Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Break Week

I was hoping that I'd be able to use my time off work during spring break to do some serious birding but it hasn't worked out that way - at least so far. Spring cleaning and yard work have taken up almost all of my time, and bad weather has stopped me from birding the rest of the time.

I did manage to get out for an hour yesterday, because I wanted to release into the "wild" a baby cottonmouth that I'd come across while cleaning out the garage. I set it free at the Longwood retention pond on Huffmeister, and while I was there I did a quick walk along two sides of the pond.

The usual wading birds were there: Great Blue Heron (below), Little Blue Heron, Great and Snowy Egret, Greater Yellowlegs and Wilson's Snipe.

Several Double-crested Cormorants were busy fishing.

You can just make out the beginnings of crests on both sides of this Cormorant's head.

I was surprised to see that some 35 American White Pelicans were hanging around and preening. I seem to be seeing a lot more White Pelicans than usual this winter.

For some reason, one group reminded me of Degas' paintings of ballet dancers.

One of the resident adult Bald Eagles was perched high in the trees.

His mate was on the nest. There was definitely one eaglet with her in the nest and I'm pretty sure there were two. However, the position of the nest makes it difficult to see into, so I won't be sure how many eaglets there are until they have grown larger. 

The eagles seemed unconcerned that a Red-tailed Hawk was lurking in a tree not far from the nest.

Most birds mob Red-tailed Hawks whenever the latter are in their vicinity of their nests. I suppose that the Bald Eagles assume that this Red-tailed has more sense than to approach their nest. 

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