Saturday, February 17, 2007

It's Saturday, isn't it? Maybe that's why I can get the internet from the Turtle instead of having to go to the clubhouse. It comes and it goes, so while it's here, I'll take advantage.

This morning, for the first time, R and I rode our bikes out to the estuary known as Estero el Soldado. It was a forty-five minute level ride from the park, very pleasant. When we got there we were delighted with what we found. There were pelicans, cormorants, egrets, gulls, and apparently plenty of fish. Right after we arrived, a cormorant caught a fish and was holding it above his head. The fish was flapping. Suddenly a pelican swooped in behind the cormorant, reached over his shoulder, and grabbed the fish.

We were only there for a few minutes, long enough for me to grab some photos. Then we cycled home, planning to go back with the canoe. We decided to talk to some neighbours about it - they could drive us and the canoe over in their truck and pick us up a couple of hours later. Then we could leave the canoe in their truck, and they could use the canoe the next day - or vice versa. What a plan. When we got home, I made breakfast while R went to talk to the neighbours. He came back saying you apparently have to be really careful about canoeing or kayaking in the estuary, because if the tide goes out while you're there, you can get well and truly stranded. Sounds as if we need to get hold of a tide table for San Carlos before we get too adventurous.

Meanwhile, though, discovering the estuary has given us a reason to stay longer in San Carlos. We will probably book in for an extra week, which makes me happy. It will give me a chance to do the field trip to Guaymas with the cooking class, and maybe get in one more class after that. Also, we have an interesting destination for morning cycle rides. Maybe tomorrow we'll pack a lunch and do some serious bird watching.
The birds don't seem the least bit skittish. They must get a lot of gawkers. A couple that came along while we were there said they have cycled and hiked around the estuary many times, and that it is well worth the effort. Not that you can cycle "around" the estuary as such, but you can follow several different paths that give you a good half-hour's exploration time by bike, much longer on foot, I would imagine.

Here is my favourite picture. I'm afraid that all the motion did awful things to the focus, but you can probably still get a good idea of what I was trying to capture.
One of these days I'll remember to take along a towel or something to throw over my head while I'm taking pictures. I always seem to be trying to photograph stuff I can't see in the camera. If I had been able to see this, I would probably have swung the camera a little to the right. Guess I won't quit my day job just yet!

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