Old Coots, Crazy Old Coots, and Monkeys


You may have heard the term, “Old Coot,” or “Crazy Old Coot.”  How did coots get such a bad rep anyway?  A coot is a common water bird that often migrates with ducks.  It’s not tasty.  Hunters don’t like them.  It’s rather awkward in the water and has a beady red eye. It doesn’t fly much but when it does decide to get airborne it runs across the water making a lot of noise before finally taking off.  So how this rather harmless bird became cross-threaded with an euphemism for a tottering, eccentric, old man is a mystery to Kongo.  

Kongo tracked a large flock of coots today at nearby Lake Murray.  While he was there he also spied a white pelican and some young mallards.  Kongo is an avid but sporadic birder.  Once he sailed 500 miles out of the way to search out a blue footed booby in the waters around the Galapagos Islands.  He’s tracked eagles in Alaskan waters, and has a pink flamingo in his garden.  He feeds hummingbirds.  He takes Audubon field guides with him on nature walks.

Kongo has learned that its hard to take good pictures of birds.  Particularly humming birds or birds with a jinky jizz.  (That’s bird talk).  You need a long lens, a steady hand or monopod, and a fast shutter speed.  Even with all that it’s pretty rare if Kongo can get a really, really good picture of a bird.  He took over 250 pictures today.  None of these are headed for the National Geographic but he had fun anyway.

Kongo climbs a tree to search for birds.

Travel safe.  Have fun.

Compared to birds, dry reeds are relatively easy to photograph
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8 Comments

  1. We love our birds too! Would be happy to tell Kongo about some excellent places to see them in Florida!

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    1. Well, Kongo will be in Tampa early in December so if you have any good tips for that area, let us know!

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      1. Is Kongo restricted to Tampa only or willing to travel a couple of hours on longer trips?

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      2. Well, it depends…How far a trip?

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      3. Well Sanibel is fantastic, but that is 2 1/2 hours away. Best place close by for you and beautiful all around is Fort DeSoto Park. As a bonus, perhaps you could stop by the Dali Museum near there too. Here’s a good link for birding in the Tampa Bay Estuary: http://www.tbep.org/portrait/birdwatching.html
        If you are ever in the Kissimmee/Orlando or St. Augustine areas between February-June, a stunningly close look at nesting herons and egrets is available at the alligator farms. It’s great!

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      4. Wow, thank you for the great advice, Pam. We’ll definitely check it out

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  2. Those are great bird photos Kongo! Did Kongo tell the pelican to fly back to the ocean?

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    1. Kongo doesn’t speak pelican but is pretty sure the bird knows where its going

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