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How do they do it? Communication that is —
I went down to the lake to cast a line and not a thing was biting, but that does not mean a loss of activity. The cranes were here, they were looking for their last birdseed meal before leaving. Both looked like they have been busy in the iron rich mud.   Earlier they had had a fun game of pine cone toss. The male is an amazing tosser.   The sky has been dark all day and the birds quite busy.  Saw an eagle over the lake this morning.   the smaller birds were all over too,  it must be due to a front going through with rain promised tonight. The rain gauge looked like this early in the day.   The blue jay came down to grab as much bread as it could hold in one beekful.     There were crows all over.     as were the cardinals and other smaller birds.
Ringo and I headed to the lake.   and watched many birds overhead, Ringo was ever so alert and hoping one might crash down for him.  But no such luck.  No fox sightings today.
The female heron was in her nest when the male came to greet her, and as soon as their beaks touched and they made their prehistoric chatter, the male was off.
He headed right for my cedar tree which always means he is looking for branches.  He landed,    and plucked a tiny branch and then ran it back to the female.

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He handed it to her and watched her take it and shape it into the nest and then he
took off again.   Back to the tree  
and got another and went back again.   They touch beaks and squawk  and then he left and flew to the ground.    He looked to the left and right and even up.  When I saw him next, he had a huge branch.   click on the numbers/letter below for video, you might have to also give a click when the preview box comes on, (click on the preview box and it should show the video, sorry for a bit of grainy-ness – there are two videos of herons, one further below)

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That branch was longer than he was.  It’s amazing how these birds know each other’s needs. The male has hardly even paid much attention to her lately, this is the most time I have seen him spend tending to her nesting needs.


He was gone a third time and brought one more branch and then it began to drizzle a bit and I had both cameras and decided I would like to be able to keep having two working cameras so I headed in while Ringo stayed at the shore watching more birds overhead dreamin for one to fall within range.  The
herons communicate their needs well, and even the other ‘lessor’ birds seem to know Ringo’s thoughts and aren’t going to fall for his innocuous pussycat act. Maybe birds are better communicators than I thought, maybe they’re psychic…

017res The moorhens have chosen to nest in the weeds that sit about twenty feet from my seawall. The female built a nice nest and I reported a few weeks ago that she had 5 eggs.  res

Last Tuesday one hatched and the baby was swimming around and enjoying newly hatched life and an hour later, it was gone. Never saw it again. On Wednesday, a new moorhen chick was hatched. 100_1852res

100_1857res This baby is still alive, and it is a great ‘hider’. As soon as I approach the bank. The moorhens squeak and the baby hurries away to the reeds to hide. The Father gets upset and comes running in to either be near the chick or to cover the nest if the female has chosen to go swim near the baby. This again is a wonderful scope of nature. The moorhens are very protective parents.  The three other eggs have not shown any attempt to hatch, maybe with all this heat and a warm feathered behind sitting on them so much, maybe they have become hardboiled…
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2609steamycranec-1 The day started with a chill and as a result, the sandhills came in wet and were steaming, you can see the swirl of where heat meets cold like an aura around him. The lake has steam rising off it also, it was around 45degrees, but sunny and with the promise of some heating up. I did throw a line in the water in the late afternoon having not been at the lake since last Wednesday because of the cold. I caught a shiner and let it sit out on the line hoping for a bass since it has been ‘many moons’ since I have seen any bass action!

Meanwhile the ducks were circling around each other in the water, looking like synchronized swimmers. I have since discovered that Carbs the duck is a male because female muscovys have less masking on their faces than males and aren’t as big and Carbs is a big duck. dsc02250Then the cranes flew in and started in on one of their silly mating dances dsc02292 It still is a bit early for them to be nesting and the fact that they are still coming here so often means they are not building a nest yet. But it is funny to watch all the dating action as they bow and jump and propel up and forward and act like silly teenagers in love and trying to show off.  I never tire of nay of their antics! dsc02295 But the funny part that I did not get to take a photo of was the part where I was taking pictures of the cranes and my neighbor had come and we were chatting and we were looking as a hawk swooped down over us and grabbed the fish on my line and took off! I did not even have time to take the photo that hawk was so fast. My neighbor and I just stood and laughed at the nerve of that hawk! Looks like I did not catch a bass, but a bird caught me…off guard!

100_4769 Despite a cold morning with steam rising off the lake yesterday, the afternoon went up to 76. That’s the perks of living in Florida, that winter sun really tries harder for us!
Carbs the duck was here and I decided to go to Sanford to do a few things and take some pictures, (see those at http://printzandart.blogspot.com )  Had fun with my assistant camera man and son Adam as we saw lots of birds and
even enjoyed a swing on the wonderful long porch swings they have over looking the lake. It is so relaxing I would highly recommend this as “hydro”therapy.
I took some pictures of the green nasty pond near our house, it was pea soup quality: 100_4776 What our own Local government does not recognize is the need for aeration for these ponds. Small fountains using some sort of solar power is what we need, plus I still want my windmills for around the lake, but I am looked at as a looney tune at the mere mention. I just hate seeing stagnant water where algae piles up. It could easily be partially eliminated naturally by constant water movement, plus my lake needs grass carp.  Last night I was fishing amidst the locals:
12409waterbirds-1 and caught a couple bream for the heron. The night was beautifully draped in pinks.

This morning Carbs the duck has disappeared. I don’t see that duck anywhere. Hope it had a nice vacation here, I sure do, everyday — appreciate the little things… have a great day!  100_4819

122108heronnestinga-1_edited-1100_3715100_3719 The herons are finally nesting. My heron came down to my shoreline this morning and had a mouth full of branch. It stayed long enough for me to take a picture and then took off. I watched it soar up up into the familiar tree and stand with the branch until it disappeared into the thick tangle of branches. I love it when they nest, I was hoping maybe they would opt for my pine, but it is just too barren.  Oh well, it does not matter as long as they keep building a colony of family. Since I have lived here there have been at least a dozen baby heron. It’s really fun when the folks are teaching them to fly. But that is about three months after they are born. So looks like we will have new years babies in about 27 days!  Look forward to keeping your eye tuned to the sky!
P/S – I have since learned that my heron that comes down while I fish is NOT one of the nesting herons!

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