Three Walks

February 1, 2019

Mel’s Great Blue Heron at Clam Bayou

Yesterday, Mel and I took so many pictures at the Clam Bayou Nature Preserve that there was no time left to write a story and post them. This morning, I went birding with a friend at the Fort DeSoto State Park and took even more pictures! When Mel and I got back to the house, I felt like taking a walk around the neighborhood here —and I took my camera along just in case! There are just so many beautiful and interesting things to photograph that I hate to miss anything!

Clam Bayou Nature Preserve was a gold mine of beautiful birds: great blue herons, ospreys, black crowned night herons, cormorants, pelicans, anhingas…every sort of bird. We spent hours roaming around the preserve and capturing as much as we could.

At Fort DeSoto State Park, my friend, Terri, had invited me to visit several of her favorite birding spots in the park.  One spot was of particular interest to me because it was known to have a great horned owl. Terri and I hadn’t walked very far down a trail when we spotted the nest she had been looking for high up in a tree –with both mama and baby visible!  BINGO! As an additional bonus, we also saw one of the wild Nanday Parakeets.

“It has been popular in the cage bird trade, and Nanday Parakeets escaped from captivity have established large feral populations around Los Angeles, in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and along Florida’s southeastern coast. Smaller numbers are seen elsewhere, including other parts of Florida and near Phoenix, Arizona.”

Nanday Parakeet

Later in the day, when I took a walk around the neighborhood, I was reminded of how self conscious I feel when I’m out taking pictures in a residential area—especially with my very long lens. I’m afraid someone is going to think I’m a ‘Peeping Tom’, or worse yet, someone with a gun. Perhaps, I worry too much. But… when you take pictures of birds in trees in a neighborhood, it could be misconstrued as someone using a high powered lens to look into someone’s bedroom window. I always hope that my advanced age and gender will give more the impression of eccentricity rather than a lunacy.

Muscovy Ducklings–so cute!
Muscovy Mama and Her Brood

That said, I spent a very long time pointing my camera at a house where a mama Muscovy duck was tending to her brood of about a dozen adorable little ducklings— all while the family dog was barking his brains out at the door. Not suspicious at all, right?

Luckily, no one came out the door after me!

Just a bird on a stalk that I thought was pretty!

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