Where are the Birds?

An excerpt from my March 11, 2015 Okefenokee nature journal:

A trio of Double-crested Cormorants perched in a cypress snag; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 11, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally from Dreamstime.com.

Wednesday, 9:20 AM – At the onset of the pontoon boat tour, our guide had asked us if there was anything in particular we wished to see. Of course, one lady ejected, “A BIG GATOR!” I more quietly let it be known that we wanted a preview of where we’d be paddling the next day. And that I also wanted to see birds. So far we had only seen very few. I had envisioned hundreds of birds; large rookeries of wading birds, huge rafts of ducks; but none of what I had envisioned had appeared yet. Ranger Jeremy said there are plenty of birds, especially in the evenings.  When I asked about ducks, he replied, “The occasional Wood Duck pair, but not too much else this time of year.”

It wasn’t until near the end of the boat tour that we finally began to spot birds. As I focused on a trio of Cormorants on a limb, a large flock of Ibises flew over. A bit further on, an oddly colored brown and white Ibis puzzled me. “A juvenile”, Jeremy in response to my perplexed look. Overhead stood a stately Anhinga with his spear-like bill pointed proudly up toward the sky. And just before the turn back to the boat dock, a gorgeous Great Egret stood poised in a picture perfect pose, almost as if staged by our guide in attempt to satisfy his birdwatching customer.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30037970

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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