(This pond is located on the right side of the road while driving into the Crooked River State Park, GA camping area)
During three consecutive early mornings in mid May, with the sun already warm on its way to hot and the humidity high, the pond came to life. Green Herons, Black-crowned night herons, and Great egrets waded in the water searching for food. Many male and female Redwinged blackbirds called and flew about, clearly nesting in the bushes and reeds in the shallow water.
Five Black Bellied Whistling Ducks flew over the first day, circled three times, and left. The next morning two stood in shallow water near the shore. The third morning all five appeared again, two in the water and three on the opposite shore. A conversation on the third morning with a local birder revealed that the ducks, which according to the bird guides shouldn’t be there, make an appearance more often lately.
The first two mornings the resident alligator remained out of sight. On the third morning it swam slowly, then arched up several times, plunging its head into the water, and moving about. Each time it returned to its slow swim, no sign of a breakfast catch in its jaws.
A Little Blue heron, which made an appearance the first morning, returned on the third. It landed in the vegetation in the water, apparently too close to a nest as suddenly a Red winged blackbird took chase, following it out of the bush, and making sure it stayed away.
The third morning three Glossy Ibis appeared, drilling their bills into the water near the two ducks.
The next morning I left the campground for our next destination, wondering what I missed that morning in the little community of the pond.