About a month ago, we made a trip to Lake Martin, LA. It has a great reputation for a variety of bird life and our trip proved that out. We saw Little Blue Herons, Great Blue Herons, Great White Egrets, Pileated Woodpeckers, and even a photo bombing Grackle.
When we left it was overcast and dreary, and it was a cool 50 degrees. We expected it to warm up, unfortunately, it did not. We were surrounded by fisherman who were dressed in coats, boots, and hats. We were wearing shorts…and were cold…the things we do (poor planning) for some great bird shots.
The first picture above Monica took, and it does a great job of showing the wonderful view we had of Lake Martin, and the variety of birds all gathered together in one place. However, stepping away from the birds for a moment, take a minute and look at this landscape. The Bald Cypress trees, the hanging Spanish Moss, and even some Tupelo Gum trees. Supposedly, the Gum trees are a natural mosquito repellent. I’m not sure if I believe that, since there were quite a few Gum trees, and there were billions and billions (in a Carl Sagan voice) of mosquitoes. It is the swamp, so it is what it is.
The next picture became on of my favorites: two greats in one shot, the Great Blue Heron and the Great White Egret. We often see these two birds in the same area, but to get them this close to each other is somewhat rare. A beautiful contrast of color and diversity, and our D7200 with the 200-500mm lens did a fantastic job.
The next picture is the Anhinga. It is called by many names: the Snakebird, Darter, and even the Water Turkey. In the water you can definitely understand why they are called the Snakebird. Their entire body is under the water and only their long slender neck and pointy head is out of the water…thus looking like a snake stretching out looking around. Out of the water, because they are lacking in the feather oil department (because they are a diving bird and catch their prey under the water), they often sit with their wings spread catching the sun and wind, drying their feathers.
Lastly, is a throwback to what looks like a prehistoric bird: the Pileated Woodpecker. Monica actually got several shots of one of these in our very own backyard. This was my first time photographing this giant woodpecker. How big are they? They get up to 19 inches tall with a wingspan of up to 30 inches. Their head is like a baseball with a 3 inch beak. Let me tell you, you can immediately hear the difference between one of these pecking a tree compared to its smaller relatives.
My favorite shot of the day was the Pileated Woodpecker on the Cypress tree. This is definitely going to be one shot that we will put on canvas for our home. What a beautiful composition with the color of the woodpecker, the Spanish Moss, and the swamp all around. Simply wonderful!
All in all a wonderful photo trip indeed. As always, hit the “Like” and “Follow” buttons and leave me a comment on which photo is your favorite. From my camera to yours, “Enjoy Our Wonderful World!”