When I’m in the water, I enjoy watching the grace and beauty of waterfowl and other feathered friends. It’s interesting to view birds and learn about their movements, patterns and hunting styles.
On the Huron River in Ohio, I often see Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Mallard Ducks, Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, and Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. Rarer sightings include the Belted Kingfisher and Bald Eagle. I’m lucky to sight a regal Bald Eagle soaring high above us, but this happens only once or twice a summer.
Herons and egrets nest along the river. They stand in shallow water or on a floating tree limb and patiently wait for the sight of some small fish. With sudden movement, they dip their necks into the water and pluck prey with amazing speed.
Ducks, cormorants, geese and gulls are common sights. Often I’ll see a row of ducks gliding along the river and geese sleeping in the shade.
Some of my most memorable birding experiences, while wakeboarding on the river, include boarding alongside a flying heron. By his temperament, I could tell the bird wasn’t as excited as I was about being so close in proximity. On another wakeboarding adventure, a gull flew beside and behind me — what a unique experience flying alongside him on the wakeboard. He was hoping a tasty little fish would be thrown in my splash.
Being outside in the water provides a great opportunity to watch the waterfowl. To learn more about these birds, visit http://www.allaboutbirds.org.
Happy wakeboarding and birding!