One of the best places I’ve found to observe nature has been on the golf course. I’m not really a very good golfer (been known to just pick up my ball on occasion), but I love being out on the courses with friends and family. Right from the beginning, I’ve always had a little bag with me with binoculars, a camera and in the old days, my old trusty bird book. I am always careful though, not to slow anyone else down. That’s a good way to irritate the other golfers on the course.
Nowadays, I’m more apt to have just my iPhone, which has a great deal of memory taken up with the Audubon series of nature guides. It can also substitute for a camera, if I need to cut back on something. I’ve seen the mundane, as well as the very exciting, once in a lifetime types of sightings. It was on golf courses on Kiawah Island and in MI where I’ve seen the only Pileated Woodpeckers I’ve ever seen. I’ve also seen many interesting herons, storks, hawks, ospreys, Bald Eagles, ducks, as well as songbirds like Baltimore Orioles, hummingbirds, goldfinches, wrens, swallows, killdeer, and bluebirds. I’ve even seen one of my partners attacked mercilessly by an overprotective, nesting red-winged blackbird, and twice seen killdeer putting on their broken wing act to distract us away from its nest.
Then there’s the mammals, insects and reptiles. Many different types of squirrels, which I swear sometimes steal the balls for fun, deer, turtles, snakes, dragonflies, butterflies, and of course, alligators. You learn quickly to just leave those balls behind that roll near the ponds or into the swampy grass. That low, grumbling noise of a mother alligator calling her babies is not something to mess with.
Enjoy some of my more recent photos.
Black-Crowned Night Heron
Great Blue Heron
Have you seen anything interesting on the golf course? Next time, be sure to keep your eyes open to see what you can find around you.