Birds of the Bayou . . .

or the birds whose space we invaded while fishing this recently.

This is a dead-end canal, and the amount of birds in this 100-yard stretch is pretty amazing.

This isn’t the best photo ever, but it speaks to the beauty and serenity of this little spot. 

This great egret watched us from a distance, and flew from bank to bank to see what we were up to.

What a dainty landing!

Now I have a confession to make.  I am a guide.  I am an outdoorswoman.  I am a birder.  And I don’t know these birds apart.  There are anhingas and there are cormorants.  Even though I have studied them, and stared at their photos, and tried to memorize the differenences, I can never recall to which specie belongs which trait.

Not to worry, though, because we have a Resident Birder who is going to help us.  My favorite bird book has gone missing amid the chaos, so I need to call on Kim to tell us who these birds are.  Kim?

Let’s call the above photo Number 1 for Kim’s sake of identification.

And this is photo no. 2, but same bird.

A little closer this time!

And then there is this shy one.  We’ll call this Bird No. 2

Bird No. 2 again.  Kim, it appeared all black with the white wing tips.

And one morning, while fishing by myself, I decided to lie down in the boat and propel quietly using the trolling motor on low speed just to see how close I could get to this Little Blue Heron, who was preening herself on a low-hanging branch.

She let me get very close . . .

so close I gained a new appreciation for this magnificent bird.

Little Blue Heron

I think I will make a post strictly about this bird in the days to come.

Well, folks, I feel a little like a slug because I fished three times this week.  The fish did, however, benefit three families other than my own, so that was a good feeling.

Today, Termite and I went out into the marsh so he could fix up his “duck blind” and set out his decoys for the first day of duck season tomorrow–the youth hunt.  I am not a hunter, but it is part of the culture and way of life here.  Men and boys enjoy it and the women folk cook the game, so it’s not just for sport.   Since there are no men folk here right now to go with him, I will be accompanying him before daylight in a small boat, out in the darkness of the alligator-filled marsh.

Please pray for me, as I will be scared!!!  This is definitely not my comfort zone and I will be pushing the limits on my personal boundaries tomorrow for the sake of Termite, my 12 year old wonder boy.

Maybe I’ll have a post and photos!  I just hope I don’t have any wild stories to tell of alligators chasing us out of the blind, etc.

Until after the hunt,

I remain,

Your Bayou Woman

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Comments

Birds of the Bayou . . . — 20 Comments

  1. OOOoooooh, you Are a brave one…lol. I have struggling with taking my 12 year old hunting as well…but I won’t be dealing with alligators….sheez…that makes me shiver!!! Us mom’s, what we do for our kiddo’s..lol. I can’t wait to hear how it goes. The photos are beautiful.. That last one of the blue heron, I can’t get enough of. When things settle down, I see some prints, tshirts and post cards in the future for a fund raiser? perhaps to help offset the cost of replanting in the marshes???
    Deb
    btw…even though my posts have been sporatic (still no phone/internet at my house either) I may be posting even less frequently, but I will keep up with back posts. I was in the process of changing jobs when I started having gross hematuria…(lots of blood in my urine). Its ok…turned out to be just a large stone blocking my right kidney…I wont be covered with insurance with my new job for 3 months, so I will have to continue working full time at both jobs to be able to afford to have it taken care of.
    Will be checking in when I can, but Im in no way going away….no such luck…lol
    See ya soon
    Debbi

  2. You’re such a good mommy! I was amazed when you got up and took Termite dove hunting when y’all were up here. I hope he gets one! or two or three – how will you cook them? with sausage in a gumbo?

  3. no, no, no, no, no. No way would I be brave enough to go out there. Did that in high school and I’m still traumatized. Two huge gators were fighting near our boat and nearly knocked us in to the water. Good luck and be careful.

    Fantastic color on that heron. I think magnolia has a great idea with the t-shirts, etc.

  4. Happy hunting! BW, will you be adding “hunting guide” to your resume once you get comfortable on a hunt? The things we do for our children! Next thing we know, Termite will be getting alligator tags and y’all will be setting out bait. When that time comes, just remember, alligator bites (even a 4 footer) can leave nasty scars. Ask my oldest son.
    Hey, just thought about Wed. when we talked out on Lake Decade. Don’t let Termite eat breakfast. You’ll be back at the Cottage by lunchtime. AND……thanks for the Trout, they really complimented my homemade tartar sauce! LOL

  5. Ok, I am hooked on your photography and well written posts about life down your way. I admire the fact that you are going out with your son. but, I sure don’t know if I am willing to put both feet on the ground in gator country!

  6. These photos are simply stunning! I found myself scrolling slowly, then again, and then again just to take in the beauty you’ve captured! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    T’will be fun to hear of your hunting ventures next! You do live life to the fullest! Much love being sent your way today!!! xxx

  7. Love the pics, Wendy. We’ve been seeing a lot of different birds at the camp lately. There is a bird that we have been calling a pink flamingo, but it looks more like a heron. Do you know the name of that bird?

    There is another huge bird that we see usually in November. For lack of a better name I call them marshmallow birds. Wing span is probably six or seven feet. They are snow white and they line up in the bayou like a bunch of little big, fluffy soldiers, nearly exactly the same distance appart. They sit right on top of the waters surface and float like a marshmallow. I thought it might be white pelicans, but pelicans are much more slender than these birds. Any ideas what kind of bird this is?

  8. I really miss these big wading birds!

    Sorry its taken me so long to get on. Busy day yesterday! Believe it or not – these are both the same bird! They are both anihingas. One is a female (or a juvenile), the other a male.

    Anihingas and cormorants are members of the same family but they have a lot of differences. The anihinga has a much longer tail and a pointed beak. The cormorant that lives in LA has a much shorter tail and a hooked beak.

    Their behaviors are sometimes the same – perching with wings hung out to dry….etc. but a cormorant is usually perched with other birds. An anihinga is usually by itself and in denser trees and lower down. The cormorant – higher up and more out in the open.

    You are brave to go out hunting! I can’t wait to hear about it.

    Marshmallow birds could be pelicans or snow geese – more likely pelicans. The pink flamingo is probably a spoonbill.

  9. Debbi – Lawdy Mercy, child, you have a well-deserved pass allowing sporadic blog visits and comments. I’m sorry you are having such trouble, too. And we have something in common – hubby changed jobs right before we evacuated for Gustav, and we have a three month wait for insurance as well. I keep telling Termite “NO ACCIDENTS” because you’ll just have to bleed to death since we have no coverage right now! Just kidding everyone, but I have been telling him to be very careful. -BW

  10. J – Believe me, I am not that brave. We are back safely from the hunt and I am so sleepy right now—got up at 4 a.m. and I do plan to type a post. I am at Dotter’s right now doing laundry and don’t have my photos uploaded and edited yet.

  11. Steffi – It was SOOOOOO good to see your smiling face Wednesday and meet your handsome hubby on the fishy waters of Lake Decade! And you are so very welcome for those trout. That little donation just made my day. The day after, I went again but the wind was higher and water a little murky. Caught about 10 keepers and lost 3 more right at the boat. Gave those away to 2 men who fished more than half the day for 3 trout (snicker snicker !!!!).

    I didn’t feed him, and you were right. We were back at home by noon!!! LOL! He was starved, as usual! But he had to clean his birds first. More to all the story later, with pics. One day you’ll have to come visit and tell me the gator story, ok?
    –BW

  12. Hi Cynthia! I have been so concerned about you and your camp that I wrote you an email, which you obviously never received. Was wondering about damage to you camp and home? The pink birds are called Roseate Spoonbills and you can see a photo of one to confirm ID on the Friday Fishing post.

    And it’s funny you mention the white birds. If they are actually floating, they are white pelicans. If they are fooling you and standing the in marsh grass, they are great egrets. I actually got a cool photo of that very thing yesteray and will be including in a bird post soon.

    Great to hear from you again!
    –BW

  13. Kim – thanks for setting us (me) straight on these birds. I have read all those details at least a dozen times and for some reason the info. just won’t stick with me. These birds are out in abundance in the marsh right now. Termite had to resist the urge to shoot at them today, mistaking them for ducks in the early morning light.

    Vance – thanks so much for letting me know how you feel about the blue heron photos. I have so many more that I will be sharing them soon. What a magnificent bird in person. These pics barely do her justice.

    –BW

  14. Mel, et. al. — Ya’ll just go right ahead and sing my praises about what a great mom I am, because when I make my post about the hunting trip, the whole nasty truth will come out!!! I’m not all that AND a bag of chips, as you will see! Meanwhile, I’ll just bask in the thought that a handful of folks think I’m super mom!!!

    Oh, and thanks to Rach (Dotter) and MuzicMan for taking Miah last night so Termite and I could go on this wild adventure.

    BW

  15. Never got your email, Wendy. Home is fine. Lots of trees down, days of cleaning up and hauling off. Camp – upstairs is main camp and had minimal damage … a couple of gutters and window screens gone but otherwise fine. The downstairs storage shed, boiling room and bath, well, they’re a trainwreck. We have made and are continuing to make repairs and should be done in a month or so.

    It is heart-wrenching for us to face this at our camp knowing that so very many are yet again dealing with the flooding in their homes. I just cannot imagine.

    TE-44 project – is back up and running since the hurricane. It’s been interesting to watch and try to figure out just what the heck they are doing. I know what the maps say online but it’s still all a mystery how they are tackling it! As long as it all works out in the end, we’re happy.

    Good luck with your own repairs and I hope you get back in your home soon. The cottage is lovely. We passed in front of there the other day on the way down to Fisherman’s Choice.

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