Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Birding by Boat

Have you ever tried birding from a small boat? I'm here to tell you that it totally rocks! Well, not if you sit still. Anyway...It's so easy to sneak up on birds when you're paddling in a kayak or canoe. I think it's because the birds do not "see" you as a threat.

Julie and I have a pair of decked canoes (though they look more like small, wide kayaks). We love to take them out on a lake, wetland, or estuary in search of birds.

On our recent trip to western Maryland, we kayaked on the lake at Herrington Manor State Park--a lovely 50-acre lake that's (blessedly) too shallow for power boats or jet skis. So we had it practically all to ourselves. Late on Sunday afternoon I took the kayak to the back of the lake where beavers had created an incredible wetland. Along the shore, perched in a dead tree was a young (bird of the year) merlin. We stared at each other for almost 15 minutes before I paddled away.

This image of my pal Joe Parisi in Julie's kayak on Herrington Manor lake reminds me of how blissful our birding-by-boat was that weekend.

Bye for now,



At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

herrington manor is one of my favorite places to bird. during my recent trip i found brewster's warblers, blackburnians nesting and alder flycatchers - with ease. never seen a merlin though!

tim carney
baltimore, md


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