The Pascagoula River
The Pascagoula River is the largest free-flowing river system in lower 48 United States. It is approximately 80 miles long. The river starts flowing at the confluences of the Leaf and Chickasawhay Rivers in northwestern George County, Mississippi. It winds its way southward before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. The Pascagoula’s bottomland forests, marshes, savannas and aquatic habitats support an abundance of wildlife. It is home to over 75 reptile species, 75 mammal species, and 200 bird species.
Yesterday I spent the morning touring the southern end of the river by boat with Jeff Wilkinson and two other local photographers. Jeff is the owner of Echo Tours of South Mississippi and is an avid photographer himself. Although we set out for a “three-hour tour,” we decided that extending it would make more sense. We did not want to end up shipwrecked like Gilligan! It was a beautiful morning. We saw lots of wildlife, including osprey, bald eagles, brown pelicans, cormorants, great blue herons, little blue herons, tricolour herons, red-tailed hawks, white ibis, great and snowy egrets.
It was also a treat to see several white pelicans. While the brown pelicans remain in Southern Mississippi all year., the white pelicans are only here for a few months in the winter. They are much larger than their brown cousins, as you can see in one of my photos. This group let us approach quite close before taking flight.
Thanks so much to Pamela for organizing our adventure! I am looking forward to more photography with her in the future!