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Yesterday morning was a fantastic morning on the water! I arrived and launched Rubber Ducky about 20 minutes before sunrise … still on the dark side, but enough light to navigate to my favorite spot. Within minutes of reaching my destination, the beaver activity began with several beavers swimming by. Then the wood ducks began flying around the area, often flying by me several times before finding a suitable place to land in the water.

A short time later, several Tufted Titmice (Baeolophus bicolor) flew into the trees ahead of me and were quite active as they foraged for food … very vocal, too. One Titmouse landed in an oak tree that was turning a brilliant red:

Tufted Titmouse in red oak turning red in the fall colors

Another one landed in an adjoining tree (persimmon, I believe) that was covered with fruit:

Tufted Titmouse surrounded by berries

There was also a strong indication that the fall bird migration is starting up in my area … a group of ~10 Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca), with a single Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) in the group, circled around the area multiple times. I don’t think they landed (the area is still pretty dense with American Lotus plants, although they are dying off very rapidly) but I will continue to watch for them.

And a highlight of the morning occurred when I was traveling and not able to capture the action. First, a Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) flew into a tree as I paddled by … then another … and another … finally the count was about 6 Blue Jays in the tree. Right behind the sixth one, a Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii), who was desperately trying to capture one of the Jays. The hawk also landed in the tree. Then, as quick as he flew in, the hawk flew off … the Blue Jays all flew off, right behind the hawk! I then continued paddling towards my haul-out point. As I neared it, I looked up and saw the hawk flying back, with at least 12 Blue Jays! Like they say, “Safety in numbers”! Guess the Jays were playing a little game of “tag” with the Cooper’s Hawk!

Every day in the kayak is a new adventure … some days a little slower than others, but every day a beautiful day in nature!

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