Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Happy Bird Day
We went to John Chestnut, Sr. Park on Lake Tarpon in Clearwater, Florida, in hopes of spotting a limpkin. We had no such luck. As we were getting ready to leave, we heard a bird that sounded a bit like a kingfisher fly overhead. Chris noticed that it flew more like a woodpecker and was larger than a kingfisher. We followed it and immediately identified it as a Pileated Woodpecker by its size and distinctive "hair." Chris jumped for joy, but didn't scare it away. It stayed in our area for about 10 minutes in a few different trees and briefly interacted with a second one. What a happy bird day!!!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Bald Eagles Nesting
There is a pair of nesting bald eagles at Honeymoon Island State Park. Part of the trail is fenced off by orange fencing (also known as snow fencing outside of Florida) for 300 feet around the nest to protect the eagles. We arrived first thing in the morning and saw the nest but it was empty. In an uncharacteristic act of persistence and patience, Mike suggested that we return later in the day before leaving. This time, one eagle flew away as we arrived. We waited a while and it flew back. As it landed, we saw that another eagle had been concealed in the nest. We watched them interact a bit, fly to a branch near the nest and mate.
The close-up on top is of an injured eagle cared for in an aviary at Boyd Hill Nature Park.
Armadillo7:40 PM Links to this post
Yellow Crowned Night Heron7:05 AM Links to this post
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Dining in Clearwater and St. Petersburg
The seafood is supposed to be good in the greater Tampa area. This great egret on Honeymoon Island must have been thrilled when he caught this fish.
However, he had never heard that you should never eat anything larger than your head. He tried many different ways for about 5 minutes, but was unable to swallow the fish.
The next day, we saw another egret at Sand Key Park struggle a while with a fish, but eventually positioned it and swallowed it.
This osprey shows a different way to deal with a large fish.
We were surprised to see that the great egret also eats grasshoppers.