What a glorious day! Chilly morning turned into another bright sunny day. It is such a thrill to be out and enjoy the outdoors with other enthusiasts. Not only for the birds, but for the great outdoors. We wish all could experience the camaraderie of being with friends and of the morning and the surrounding wildlife. I miss seeing a lot of you. We just have fun. Wild Turkeys, Common Loons, Pied-Bill & Horned Grebes, Herons, Bald Eagles, Terns and lots more. We birded both sides of the lake and then proceeded to Gator Joe's for a nice afternoon lunch outside on the lake.
Of major concern to yours truly recently has been the news that Duke's proposed gas plant is not the only one in the works for our increasingly unnatural nature coast! It seems a second gas plant is also in the planning stages. It is to be located on land owned by Steve Lamb near the Duke Energy plant. This second plant will deal in LNG (Liquid Nitrogen Gas) and get it's gas from the Sabal Trail.
Our own Citrus County Audubon members Jim Meyer and Vice-President Eileen Riccio were witness to an heroic rescue of a Brown Pelican at the Canaveral Jetty over the Thanksgiving holiday. Click this link for the article in the Hometown News . The story is at the bottom of the front page of the Brevard County section.
Thanks to all our volunteers this year, we had another successful Christmas Bird Count!
A bright, crisp morning that made us all happy to be out and about. There were 21 who came out on this frosty morning to enjoy the beauty of Rainbow Springs. The most often seen bird of the morning was the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. They were in abundance. One tree had to have about 8 or so stirring up the insects for a breakfast. Our leisurely stroll down to the swimming hole stirred up the Common Yellowthroat, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Palm warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler, and others. Up through the Butterfly Garden we came upon the Ovenbird and possibly two of them in the thicket.
Exciting news for CCAS. We are working on a new website for Citrus County Audubon. Our website will have the designated .org ending instead of .com The site is under construction, but we welcome you to check it out. We are going to have similar content, but a new face.
No Blue Skies this morning at Ft Cooper, but CCAS members and Hernando totaling 24 came out to call in the birds. Wood Ducks, Ring-billed Ducks, Herons, Wilson's Snipe, Sedge Wrens calling through out the water's edge, House and Carolina Wrens, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpeckers, and 2 Bald Eagles doing some air aerobics fit the bill for the morning. We had 38 species in about 90 minutes and then "The Rains Came." The highlight would be the Northern Harrier. The morning was not complete until we retired to two restaurants for breakfast.
We couldn't have asked for a better day as far as the weather and for our bird count. Fourteen participants enjoyed a walk down Sparrow Alley where the highlight was the Yellow-breasted Chat.There weren't many warblers, but 20 or so Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. A little way up from the boardwalk was our American Bittern for the day, Black-crowned Night Heron, Wilson's Snipe, and two White-throated Sparrows. Our total for Paynes was 54 species. We then traveled to Powers Park and had 20 species adding 4 new ones, Sora, American Coot, Limpkin and Merlin. Then for lunch at Bono's BBQ.
This was a joint field trip with Hernando Audubon. We had 30 plus participants combined. The Withlacoochee part of the Green Swamp is really quite an extensive park where one could get lost and few were presumed so, but with today's technology not a problem. GPS in smart phones is a great asset. The park was not a total loss for birds, but there didn't seem to be a lot of activity. We left the park and birded Auton Rd where we were rewarded with a Northern Harrier. A great lunch was had by about 20 members of the party at a local Panera type restaurant in the downtown district.
Another great morning with 18 participants. Lake Panasoffkee is a very nice birdy place escpecially in and around the pavillion. Much activity from the Kestrels and a Merlin that was after a flock of Eastern Meadowlarks. A Loggerhead Shrike was also amongst the fray. Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Eastern Bluebirds, Palm & Pine Warblers dominated the scene. A count of 90 Fish Crows came streaming over with their answer to the question, "Are you American Crows" and their reply "Un-Unh." We gave up after the count of 90.