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Anhinga Things

July 27, 2012

Last weekend, during that successful Roseate Spoonbill chase with Scott Winton, we crept up to a little neighborhood pond on a golf course where, in the past, Mottled Ducks have been known to hang out.  In fact, I got my state Mottled Duck back in 2008, when I was wrapped up in the World’s Worst Big Year, at this very spot, meandering around in the back of the pond looking for all the world like the slightly more distinct Mallards that they no doubt shared at least a little DNA.

We didn’t get the ducks, but that was fine with me.  What we did find was the greatest concentration of Anhingas I’d ever seen.  The snakebirds have clearly made themselves at home in this southern tip of North Carolina that is looking increasingly northern Florida.  They were everywhere.  Fishing with head only out of the water, perched on snags with wings outstretched, and chasing each  other while grunting, a vocalization that’s not generally described well in field guides or included in birdsong CDs.  Mostly because it’s bizarre.  One did, perch close enough to offer a some nice photographic opportunities, and you know what they say, you don’t miss the opportunity to shoot an Anhinga.  Or something…


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