I had a perfectly wonderful day today! I birded with my sweetheart, Terri for the first time in a long time and we took both our bikes and managed almost 12 miles in the couple of places we rode. This was a great accomplishment and milestone as Terri had major Shoulder surgery less than 6 months ago!! I have been telling her about all these different places I go birding and it was great for her to put a face on a good number of them today.
We started the morning at STA 3-4 in Western Palm Beach County. We saw an interesting array of birds including a dozen or so Red-shouldered Hawk. I have been trying to capture a nice landing pose for some time and kind of liked the looks of this one!
Thanks to Terri we saw this beautiful Eastern Meadowlark. I had ridden right by him and she stopped and said she saw something different and we were able to eventually get a pretty good look.
I should mention that the morning started out with us riding one of the levees a little over a mile out. There was a pair of Peregrine Falcons chasing one another from pole to pole and as I get ready to shoot them I realize I don’t have a memory card in my camera. No problem, I’ll just check my vest, cause I always have a spare there but all that was in the pocket was the case for a card … bummer. Now I have to haul butt back to the car to get my emergency card that I keep in the center console just for this instances like this.
So, I get the card, haul butt back to where Terri is shooting away and she tells me the Peregrines flew that away and she had 4 White Pelicans fly right over her head, just before I got there of course!!! I have already photographed the W. Pelicans this year but the pictures are really lousy, far away and against a slate gray sky.
Fortunately for me God was looking out and the Pelicans returned a little later on . They were Ketteling with some Turkey Vultures so I was happy to get a couple of better shots of these really cool birds.
Terri and I left STA 3-4 and made our way down to the Miami Canal. There is a nice grove of Cypress that is a regular Barn Owl roost. This is the second time I’ve looked and been unsuccessful. Late morning is probably not the best time to look for the Owls so I’ll have to try real early sometime. It wasn’t a total loss as we saw this Red-tailed Hawk right across the road from the roost.
I then showed Terri some other spots that are regularly birded in the Fall such as Browns Farm Road, the Sod Fields and we also stopped at the Sem Chi Rice factory to look at all the Blackbirds. Hundreds of Red-winged BB and many Brown-headed Cowbirds. This past week a couple of Yellow-headed Blackbirds had been reported but none today.
We then made our way to the Wellington Environmental Preserve. We saw 3 female Snail Kites and another stunning Peregrine Falcon. The coolest thing we saw there was this Walking Stick. It was in the Womans Bathroom so I went in and rescued it. I took it outside and placed it on a nice Maple Tree. Of course we had to get his picture and is he not one of Gods coolest looking insects!
All and all a wonderful day spent with my love doing the thing I like most … enjoying Gods wonders! Thanks for the visit … and stay tuned … tomorrow I get to go to STA 1 East where 2 Sundays ago that had 5 different Duck Species that I still need for my Big Year … cross your fingers!