Sunday, November 11, 2012

Okeechobee visitors

Today is Sunday and it was a beautiful mostly sunny day. This is the end of the "rainy season" and dry clear skies are just around the corner. The temperature got into the low 80's toady. We still have a lot of wind ans mainly from the north. The reason for the blog today is not for a weather report but to show a couple of snapshots.
Shortly after we arrived home from church I noticed a large brown bird visiting in my boat. They like to look for left over bait or any tidbit they can find. By the time I grabbed the camera he was on the railing for the finger dock.

The limpkin is an unusual bird of southern swamps and marshes. The Limpkin reaches the northern limits of its breeding range in Florida. There, it feeds almost exclusively on apple snails, which it extracts from their shells with its long bill. We find the apple snail shells and fresh water clam shells in our yard. The birds catch them and fly up onto our grass for a picnics. The shells have to be removed from the lawn before mowing. They are large and hard. Its screaming cry is unmistakable and evocative. Sometimes they scream like a baby all night long. Someone said that was breeding time. Who would want to breed with a screaming creature?
The limpkin was not alone on the finger dock railing. He was accompanied by four ibes (singular is ibis). They are  a wading bird. They all have long, down-curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, They probe our lawn for grubs and beetles. This makes them an asset as cut worm grubs can ruin a lawn in short order. They nest in trees. We can watch them and herons nest in a stand of live oaks across the river from us. There are too many leaves on the trees now. Yes we have a winter also. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the ibis as a god. Moses was supposed to have  employed ibes against flying serpents during a desert campaign into Ethiopia in his early life.

The first pix I had to sneak around by the motorhome so as not to frighten the limpkin. This second picture was from the other side. The Limpkin did not spook.
Lastly I shot a quick view out the window in our south room where we were eating. It was 5:30. Some times we get very nice sunsets across the river. Enjoy life.

No comments:

Post a Comment