Saturday, February 20, 2010

Seen & Heard: Bird News

Leonie had an entertaining bird survey on Fri­day, when the first outing on new route Sierpe Viejo provided some interesting data and a con­siderable test for her steering and paddling skills. With overhanging branches and submerged logs, the new route proved a tricky one. None-the-less, the team persevered and were rewarded with half a dozen boat-billed herons and a limpkin which they saw several times as they made their way down the canal.

Trying to manoeuvre to a position where Emily could take a good photo of the limpkin, Leonie employed her best stealth paddling technique. Everybody in the boat remained quiet. The air was still. The team edged closer to the elusive and mysteri­ous bird perched in a tree above them. Emily focused her camera...and just at that moment Luisa (our trusty bird survey canoe) struck a submerged branch which grated along her underside with a pro­longed and ear-splitting squeal. To their credit, Leonie managed to keep paddling and Emily got some great shots, despite the fact that the canoe was by then shaking with the silent laughter of its occupants.