Saturday, August 17, 2013

Kayaking at Dead Creek Vermont

  Although I have not had as much time as I would like to get out and bird, now that the oppressive heat is gone, my wife and I have been out kayaking.  Just a few minutes down the road is Dead Creek, a favorite spot of mine for hiking and birding, and now for kayaking.  As the water level drops in late summer, it becomes a spot to find lots of shorebirds.  The marsh creates a lot of boundary habitats, with brush and boreal, reeds and open water, along with mud flats.

   As my wife and I were putting our boats in the water, we had a fly-over by 10+ Osprey.  Very cool.  I watched one hover and dive - forgive the not so great shots (i did not change settings and should have for faster shots), but I found it very interesting that the dive was a slowly dropping hover and then a drop from 4 feet or so.  My favorite part was as it flew, it shook itself like a dog.

Shaking his head, missed the body shake though

Another bird I saw a lot of were Yellow Crowned Night Herons.  I saw a total of 5 juveniles, and a flash of color that was likely the adult. Several spooked and flew away, and while looking at one in the distance, I felt eyes upon me and spied another hiding behind a blade of grass 8 feet away. After a few shots, I backed up so as not to spook it further.

Is he leaving yet?
This Great Blue Heron was funny. It seemed to be moving and following me along the shore. I am guessing perhaps my boat was pushing fish along?
Beautiful bird

We saw other shorebirds as well, including Solitary Sandpiper (a regular for me here), Yellow-legs, and Killdeer, and maybe some plovers, but I am going to assume they were Killdeer without a better look.
Thinking Lesser, by the calls and by good looks, but not photos while feeding.
Amazing with such close looks from 8 feet away,  how crummy a shot can come out with that harsh noon sun. Looks are more important though :)


  1. Birding by kayak is the greatest!! Beautiful images.

  2. Great outing, Dan! Awesome series on the Osprey! They are amazing to watch dive. Wonderful post.

  3. It must have been a great experience to have that many Osprey and all that action, especially when you were able to capture some of it to share.

  4. Dan, amazing photos. I am so glad that you are enjoying your new life!

  5. Kayaking sounds like a perfect way to observe many beautiful birds. Fantastic photographs, Dan! I especially love the images of the osprey in flight.