Another good “bird nesting paddle” on the Silver River on Sunday. The Cormorants and Anhingas are nesting now. Some still building, some obviously incubating eggs. Saw several gators as well as one troop of monkeys with lots of little ones scampering around. Unfortunately the monkeys stayed well back in the trees and my little point-and-shoot camera can’t reach too far. No spring wildflowers yet but they should be coming soon.
I had to laugh when, while stopped to take monkey pics, a group of kayakers/paddle boarders furiously raced up and asked if I had seen any gators because they had been looking hard and hadn’t seen any. I told them I had seen a dozen or so in the mile of river we had both just covered. They just shook their heads and raced on. Well, folks, you have to both *look* and *see* – you can’t just race by with an occasional glance around. There’s nothing wrong with racing or exercise paddling, but it’s not conducive to seeing much wildlife.
Mamma monkey (Rhesus macaque) keeping an eye on the river, protecting her little ones who were playing further back in the trees.
Not a great pic, but is does show why they are called Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus). The head crests appear only during breeding season.
Inside of the Spatterdock (Nuphar advena) seed pod – a favorite of Wood Ducks.
Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) in breeding plumage. During the breeding season the males have an obvious blue circle around the eye.
A pretty good shot of the blue eye-ring of a male Anhinga in breeding plumage. They are just starting to nest right now.
Nice little alligator (about 4 feet long) keeping an eye on me from the weeds.
A rather distant shot through the trees of a mamma monkey and her baby.
A view down the Ft King Canoe Trail which parallels then joins the Silver River after about a mile.
Beautifully patterned Cooter (Pseudemys spp.). I can’t tell the difference among the different species of Cooters and it seems scientists keep changing the species designation anyway. So I just enjoy their beauty.
Immature Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) intent on stalking her dinner. Little Blues (who wear white plumage their first year) should start nesting next month. Many of them reuse Cormorant nests.