Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cameron Prairie NWR ... Part 2, That’s All.

After exploring the visitor center area we headed on down the road where we encountered a driving loop.  It was open and so was our schedule so off we went.

Yes, this is an American Coot.  Yes, we’ve shown you one previously.

This however is the best shot we’ve gotten of the feet of an American Coot.  They
are cool in all aspects.  Why is this significant?  You’ll see later.

                                          Persian Speedwell
There will be plenty of birds in this post.  This is your token flower.

   Nicole thought she was just getting a cute photo of three turtles on a log.

Then she got the photo on the computer and realized that the middle guy or
gal looked ‘different’.  That red spot in the ‘ear’ area is the key.  This is a
Red-eared Slider.  Can’t say we’ve ever seen one before.

    O.K. so that was two things that are not birds.  Now, on to the birds!

Shorebirds are hard enough to identify from the front but from the back all bets are off!

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                   No clue but pretty sure it is in the shorebird family.

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                          Same bird?  Different bird?  Shorebird.

                          American White Ibis

                         Let me see you shake your tail feathers!

And, speaking of Ibis(eses)...  We were pretty excited to see the Glossy Ibis.

                    The colors were just fantastic (and very glossy)!

                                           Warrior Pose

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                                         Pied-billed Grebe

                                                          Snowy Egret


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           Pretty sure this one seriously believed we could not see him.

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  Thanks to the magic that is a zoom lens, he was wrong.

Oh, and now to get back to those American Coot feet...  The story goes like this...

We were driving the auto tour loop when we saw a bunch of birds in the middle of the road.  After getting closer we realized that they were American Coots.  Getting even closer we soon realized that this particular group did not seem to care that we were driving a rather large automobile.  We were blocked from proceeding so we got out of the van and watched the following display.

           It began with some posturing in a head to head standoff.

                                       Others joined in and...

                                             a chase ensued.

                    The chase was followed by some more posturing.

                                          Then it got good.

                                          Watch the feet!

   We really were not sure what we were seeing.  A mating ritual, perhaps?

                              The third party looks like a referee.

This is actually a territorial dispute.  Reportedly, it is rare to see out of the water
as the usual intended result is to hold the head of the other underwater with
one of those large powerful feet.

                After a display like that, it is only right to take a bow.
Actually, if the head is down during this display it denotes a hostile attitude.

                       What does a smile on an alligator denote?