My wild goose chase

I was sitting at home today when I suddenly heard something outside that sounded like a lot of birds.  Big birds, although I wasn’t sure what kind.  So I ran outside with my camera, hoping to get a bunch of wild turkeys, or at least some vultures.  Everywhere I went, I heard them, but I couldn’t see them.  Big birds are usually pretty easy to spot, so I was a little mystified.  Then I looked up.

Geese, geese and more geese!  Geese as far as the eye could see!  They were flying north and my house was right on the migration path.  Some flew in Vs and some just flew around.  They seem to be split up in groups, but the groups seems somewhat fluid, moving in and out of formation.

Of course with this many flying over, I had to head down to the lake to see if any had landed.  Although I was disappointed that they had not, it was still a nice visit.  A great blue heron was standing across the lake, watching the water, and if you look closely, you can see an immature anhinga hidden in front of the trees to the left of the heron.

If you can’t see that one, you’re in luck, because there was another one nearby sunning his wings.  This one wasn’t even trying to hide.  Anhingas are often called snake birds because they will swim with their bodies submerged and just their long necks exposed.  When they do this, they really do look like snakes gliding through the water.

These turtles weren’t afraid of my camera.  They stayed right where they were.  I have been assured that the one with the yellow belly is a yellow belly slider and the smaller one is mud turtle.

Can you see those two bump sin the lake?  You might have to look hard, but that is an alligator.  I haven’t seen one of them here for several months, so I was afraid they had all left.  It was a relief to see one again.  For the most part, alligators don’t pose a great danger to humans.  You need to respect them and realize that they can attack quite quickly, but you aren’t their favorite prey.  As long as you admire them from afar, you aren’t likely to have any problem with them.

Swimming around in the middle of the lake was just one American coot.  It took me a while to figure out what he was, since coots usually have a big bump between the eyes, but the shape of the beak and the colors of the body identify it as a coot.

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