As an avid birdwatcher, I pondered just how my fantastic hobby could still be enjoyed while moving at 5 knots with seemingly huge obvious white bed sheets poofing in the wind. How could this be accomplished and still be underway, anchored or tucked inside a marina in a slip?
The ICW has proven a wonderland of both juvenile and adult American Bald Eagles, perching majestically in enormous conifer trees along side the banks. The slower speed of travel on this waterway gives one with binoculars or a camera ample time to view them in their native environment and capturing them in photo to view again later.
Markers along the rivers have continuously been the home of nesting Ospreys with their babies…the quietness of a boat under sail does not seem to frighten these great birds of prey and gives the observer a “bird’s eye view” from a close observation point that only landlubbers stand on the shore and dream of!
Beautiful blackened Cormorants with Florida orange beaks help give another visual signal of wind direction to the sailor as they face into wind with fully outstretched wings to dry from diving underwater for their food.
Anchoring out in quiet creeks gives the opportunity for freshly brewed coffee and breakfast in the cockpit while all of the trees and brush aligning the creek comes alive with songs of birds and their various sunrise activities. They, too, enjoy the beautiful yellow sunrises!
Marinas and their surroundings have housed a plethora of great birds galore… from Black-Crowned Night Herons, Great Blue Herons, Hummingbirds, banana yellow Warblers, Pelicans, Egrets and the list just keeps getting bigger and beyond my wildest imagination as a birdwatcher…
While here in the Bahamas, we stumbled upon and entire rookery of nesting Yellow-Crowned Night Herons…to see the many pairs of them amidst cypress trees, with Bananaquits and others birds has been stellar to this bird enthusiast, indeed.
Looking forward to seeing what feathered friends await us in the Exumas!