Winter on the Water

Published 4:19 pm Friday, February 25, 2022

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By PEGGY BULLARD/ Community Columnist

It’s been a freezing cold winter on the lake and elsewhere this year. There have been many mornings with temperatures in the 20s, and only getting into the mid to low 30s before the day ends. You can imagine there has not been much activity on the water this past month. Rain, storms and temperatures close to or below freezing have even kept most fishermen away. Although, I heard boats out one day, and it was in the mid 30s. I call that desperate or else they had paid money to fish a tournament and just could not pass up the chance of being the big winner with the possibility that most would be a no show.

The birds have been active on the water. They don’t seem to mind the winds, rain or cold. We have spotted birds of all sizes and descriptions. The cardinals seem to get brighter red and come in closer to homes for easy winter food. The chickadees, titmouse, sparrows and finch have taken advantage of the home feeders this winter as well as the woodpeckers. The woodpeckers fly in quickly and get a sunflower seed and head to the top of the nearest tree before eating it. They do not like to feed at the feeders but don’t mind a quick and easy meal now and again.

On Feb 21, 2022, pelicans were spotted in the middle of Lake Mitchell. There were six of them, and they were swimming quickly toward the south end of the lake. They were stretched out in almost a perfect line most of the time but occasionally they would seem to come together in a circle. My thoughts were, they are clustering for warmth or having a conference as to when it would be time to look for lunch or maybe a warm place to stay the night. They don’t live on Lake Mitchell full time and I’m sure they were migrating south.  I have had the privilege of seeing them a few times and usually the neighbor across the lake, Jerry McGaugly, text me to look out and see them because they are out in the middle of the lake. We each take pictures, but his are usually the best since they are closer to him on the Coosa side of the lake.

Lake Mitchell is surely a Bird Watchers Paradise. Birding by boat is always a fun expedition. I’ve taken a few when there was an available driver. The whole purpose of the boat ride was to look for birds and see how many species could be discovered along the banks and trees. It is most exciting and fun and most of the time rewarding with many great bird sightings.  Come visit the lake for the birds instead of the fish. You’ll be glad you did.