Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Life along the river

Up until last night we were the only ones staying at the campground. People would drive in, sit and enjoy the water for awhile, or make use of the "facilities," and then go on. With the exception of the few passing boats and barges we've been pretty much on our own.

Most of the time, the RV sits here just like any other stationary object, so the birds and animals don't notice us for the most part. We do have to run the generator some which adds noise to the environment. With our big picture window in the front we have a great view of the wildlife around us.

I've enjoyed watching the blue herons and their antics. We've watched them fish on the river's edge just 30 or 40 feet from us. As that fish wiggled (struggled is probably the better word) in the heron's mouth, we wondered if the heron would lose his catch. But no, he deftly worked the fish around in its mouth until he swallowed it whole. We could watch the fish continue its flapping all the way down the heron's throat.

We've also seen some interaction. Once one heron got too close to another's fishing territory. The first bird drove the other one off. We've seen them do almost a dance in the water. They walk around circling each other with their heads held high (almost like little snobs). They don't get more than three or four feet from each other. They are not looking at each other, but you sense they are very aware of the other one's presence. We've seen two fly in and out together. And we saw one almost land on another one, pushing its head underwater after they were both startled by a riverboat. An accident . . . . or sibling rivalry . . . . hum . . . I'll never know. When we exit the RV, they startle giving a series of warning squawks. Sometimes just our moving in the RV or picking up our binoculars to look at them more closely causes them to take wing and move a little further away.

My animal list:
Blue Herons
Snowy Egrets
White pelicans
flocks of geese
terns (don't know which one)
jumping fish (both small and some larger ones)

Owl calls
I took time this morning to listen to some owl calls.
My best uneducated guess is that we have been hearing a great horned owl.

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