I was going to put this video down at the bottom of the post, but you would have just scrolled down quick and watched it first anyway, right?
(You probably aren't even reading THIS are you?)
Yes, you would, ... be honest.
In your amazement that FC had actually managed to upload video on dialup, you would have made a beeline for that movie, so I stuck it up here at the top of the tale even though it happened last in the sequence of events.
So, here is what happens when a school of baitfish are being attacked from below by predatory fish and from above by predatory birds.
Not exactly Blue Planet quality, but it was too dramatic for just still pics.
Yesterday, I took Emma, Corinne, and Laura (the 3 dormies) island hopping around Cedar Key.
I have more pics of the girl's day on the water for a later post.
Today's post is just about the extreme fishiness of yesterday and the birds who were capitalizing on the abundance.
Emma can sure pick a good boat day. The air was not still, but not blowing enough to really chop up the water. The girls had stretched out on the bow of Summer School for some sunning (after 60SPF) and I didn't have the heart to tell them that SS's little engine was not going to get us up on a plane with a bowfull of girls, so I just puttputted along over the shallow flats while they talked girly talk and dozed.
As we rounded the seaward side of Seahorse Key, I could see the scene below, so I headed over that way to see what the birds were after.
There were huge schools of small fish moving across the flats and the seabirds were having a field day.
Bigger fish were striking too. It was incredibly fishy.
Of course, I didn't take a single fishing rod as this was just supposed to be a beachcombing/swimming/sunning voyage.
I shot waaaaay more pelican pics than these and I'll share some shorebird shots later from this trip . The pelicans (AKA pterodyactyls Version 2.0) were really busy.
They would get airborne just high and just long enough to spot fish.
Then, wings folded, they would plummet with a huge splash.
It seemed, judging by the gulpy movements they were doing as they surfaced, that they were having great luck.
This is really important as the surrounding keys, especially Seahorse Key, are seabird rookeries and good nutrition is pretty important for growing kids.
I've said it before on previous Cedar Key posts, but you can thank Teddy Roosevelt for these birds. He's the one who set aside the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge long before any of us were born. I never forget that when I take my children out to see the islands full of seabird rookeries and spiraling columns of pelicans, ibis, and frigate birds, it's possible because of Teddy and other forward looking conservationists.
The fact that Teddy did it when Florida was still mostly wilderness just makes his foresight all the more amazing. He couldn't imagine the overdevelopment of Florida that has occurred since then, but he would recognize the keys of Cedar Key National Wildlife Refuge. They look the same every year ... wild, green, and full of nesting seabirds.
Teddy, ... thanks man.