Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

Ok, a day late, but the pictures are from the 4th. Yesterday morning we went to Floyd Lamb Park with the camera and a bag of old bread we'd been saving. The critters at the park are not shy about letting you know they'd like some food. In fact, they tend to get too close for the lens to focus. This guy followed us around with his tongue hanging out like a dog.

I managed to get some pictures of Coots out of the water so you can see their really weird feet. They swim ok anyway, but they sure got shortchanged compared to ducks. Coots are so odd that I can't help kind of liking them. They are the nerds of the waterfowl set.

It's a little late in the year for goslings, but we found a couple. Incidentally, the new bird book I got for Christmas (thanks Mom!) identifies most of the geese at the park as domesticated geese. In other words, they're hybrids with ancestors that have a long tradition of, ahem, coming over for Christmas dinner. We did see quite a few Canadian geese this time, though, so apparently a herd decided they were far enough north for this year. Anyway, on to the babies!

Say it with me: "AWWWW!"

However, there are strange doings at the park. What do you suppose happened here?

My guess is that someone's mamma was seeing that rooster down the road (if you know what I mean and I think you do). Weirdest part was, he followed us around wagging his tail like a dog. I wonder if he takes swimming lessons from the Coots?

Another weird but less improbable sighting, this pair of ducks seems to be hybrid or mutant or something. Just something a little different from the usual Mallards.

It was a good day for the oddities. We've seen this white peacock at the park before, but he seems to be fairly shy and we hadn't gotten any good pictures. The old bread was genius though, and he came trotting on over with the rest of them. (The down side of the bread is they don't get mad at you when you come close, so no big tail displays this time.)

And darting amongst the grownups, a baby peacock! (A peachick? I need a ruling over here.) This little booger was fast. He'd grab a big hunk of bread and run around trying to keep it away from the adults. He finally started coming closer to us though, and I got a few shots. Check out the little bitty feathers just starting on top of his head.

For our really big finish, we've "Cannonized" a new (for us) bird. In a quiet little backwater, Mr. Snowy Egret was catching breakfast. He caught a fish while we watched him, but I missed that shot. Oh well, after our banner year last year, we've had a shortage of unusual critter sightings, so this was kind of neat.

Hope you all had a good holiday!