August 27, 2014
When the temperature in Missouri is in the mid-70’s in the morning and near 100 by afternoon, I look for nice, cool places along rivers, streams and springs to find wildlife. Recently, on just such a day, I made a morning stand along the Blue Spring Branch of the Meramec River in Crawford County. I sat my turkey chair up at water’s edge with my wading shoes dangling in the clear spring water. Although the morning was hot and miserable by all accounts, my shady, streamside shelter was downright refreshing!
As I sat looking upstream at a bend in the creek, waiting for one or more otters to round the corner and come my way, a Louisiana water thrush lighted across the stream and began feeding in the shallows. I watched as it threw leaves and other debris over its back, in search of tiny invertebrates and other morsels. The Louisiana water thrush is one of Missouri’s most carefree birds and this one met the profile as it approached so close I finally quit shooting and just enjoyed watching it forage for breakfast.
The otters never showed, nor the mink that has a nest nearby, so the little warbler/waterbird rose in status to become my featured creature in this week’s edition. If you ever see a smallish bird near the water but you are not quite sure if it is a Louisiana waterthrush, just watch for the bobbing tail—a dead giveaway for this species. Be careful though because during the spring migration, it might just be a northern waterthrush. Birding is never quite as simple as we would like. Perhaps Mother Nature knows the challenge is what keeps us coming back for more.
Thanks for looking,
Email me at: NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com
Featured Image: Louisiana Water Thrush; 500 mm; 1/125; f/4; ISO 400; Av