A paddle with the birds.

We paddled the Little River arm of Lake Hartwell today. It is only about 6 miles, for which I am grateful. I am really out of shape.
We started about 10:30 and I’m still amazed at what we saw.
Cliff swallows nesting under a bridge.
Great Blue Heron
Little Green Heron
Pileated woodpecker
Red Tailed hawks
Red Shouldered Hawk
Unknown short bodied hawk we couldn’t ID
Turkey with chicks
Turkey vulture
Black Vultures
I didn’t pay attention to the usuals like mocking birds and sparrows.
We expect this kind of abundance on the coast but it was a banner day for the Upstate.

Sounds very nice. You are fortunate to live in such a location.

I forgot the ospreys and crows. And yes, we are fortunate to live here.

I had a similar ‘bird’ paddle about two weeks ago. The highlight of the day was getting a very good look at a bird I’d been trying to identify for years. I kept seeing a little bird fly just above the water with stiff wings/wingbeats. Looked kinda like a chimney swift. Checked my books and sites and figured out it’s the Least Sandpiper.

More exciting today than the usual water fowl and eagles were fish. Big fish! The first sighting, thought I was looking at a light colored rock underwater - until it began to swim away. Saw others as I paddled on. Discovered online they were smallmouth bass. Might have a small mouth, but the rest was supersized.

Our paddle on the Suwannee this weekend showed a complete lack of Osprey. We though it might be due to the numbers we’ve seen in places like Lake Dissten and Blue Cypress nesting and having chicks. Some birds migrate to procreate.

That’s great to hear you got out paddling Jim. Nora and I have been paddling Lake Murray almost every week this year and I must say there is nowhere I have heard of that compares in density of Ospreys. They are extremely common and on one paddle I counted 27. Also of interest is the Common Loons that winter over in huge numbers. Well some are staying for the summer it appears. We saw some a few days ago in their gorgeous summer plumage. Never seen them this late in the spring.

The one time I paddled Murray, there were ospreys nesting in every cove. I’ve never seen loons this late either.

Lake Murray down by the old lumber kiln is cypress trees in the water. Prim osprey nest sites.

Paris and I came across a couple of nice honkers