Mayberry Wading Birds

Mayberry Farms is not what it once was. There was a day when we had a duck club with about 150-200 acres of shallow-flooded seasonal marsh. At times we had mud flats covered with dowitchers, stilts and avocets.

When the shallow ponds were converted to deep perenial ponds, the shore birds disappeared from our hunting territory. But occasionally they return to wade the shallow water in the fields adjacent to Mayberry.

Here are a few that were present on Sunday.

There were a few other birds around as well.

 

Deer Hunt

Critters were out yesterday. I was so into the deer hunt that I missed some good photo opportunities. Did manage to get a few good shots as light was fading.

The Boss

On the next-to-last evening of the hunt, my cousin Wes and I were sitting in camp and something landed in a large yellow pine above us. The critter was obviously a large bird and it began to chirp loudly.

Before long we figured out that it was a bald eagle and it was giving another eagle a bad time. When the other eagle left, the mature “boss” bird stuck around for a longer visit.

On the last trip out of the campground with my cargo trailer in tow, the eagle appeared again and landed on a large branch of a close-by yellow pine. I was fortunate to snap a few shots of the magnificent animal.

OK. You Tell Me

While hunting and associated travels, I took some wildlife photos whenever I wasn’t too absorbed in finding a buck.

On the way to town one day, I snapped a few photos that had little promise, but I was just firing away.

I must have hit the wrong button on a few, because my Nikon decided to take charge. The result was interesting, but I haven’t taken time to figure out what happened.

Symbiosis

While in South Africa, Linda and I observed oxpeckers eating ticks off the back of and also from inside the ear of a rhino. That is a form of symbiosis.

On occasions I’ve seen magpies and starlings feed off the back or heads of deer and cattle. Yesterday I came upon two starlings each standing on the head of a cow.

Here is a photo of the two cows, each with a starling on their head. It’s difficult to see the starling on the head of the all-black cow, but look close, you’ll see it. The beak stands out.

two starlings on cattle DSC_0974[1]

Not sure if they were after flies or ticks, but there were plenty of flies. When a symbiotic relationship benefits both parties, it is called mutualism. Had to look that up.