“A state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump.”
Raining almost every day.
Mosquitoes worse than ever.
No birds singing. Most are molting. Fall migration hasn’t started. No use even going anywhere. Just the same old same old. Sigh.
Wait a minute! This is Florida! There ARE birds to be seen! If not in the forest then in the swamp. If not in the swamp then at the coast. If not at the coast then at the water treatment plant or the mega-supermarket parking lot with retention ponds or the landfill or ……..
Whew! I almost blacked out there for a minute. Fortunately, finding birds to watch is NOT a real issue where we live. They may not be the birds on our great big WISH LIST, but there are plenty of birds out there!
A case in point. Although not yet open to the public, there have been periodic tours offered of the newly developed Lake Hancock Outfall Wetlands near Lakeland and Bartow in Polk County, FL. I was lucky enough to be included in a recent group. Since I’ve been here several times, I wandered away from the herd and enjoyed some late summer birding around the larger wetlands cell in the area. Total species for the morning was 40 and included over 60 American White Pelican, 5 Least Bittern, 32 Osprey (20 gathered in one group of bare trees), a dozen Limpkin, 16 Black-necked Stilt, Gull-billed and Caspian Terns, Roseate Spoonbill and a host of water/wading birds. Additionally, I found a few White-tailed Deer, a Banded Water Snake, a thieving Raccoon, plenty of healthy alligators and Bobcat tracks in the wet sand. To think, I could have sat home and complained instead!
Huh? Pictures? But of course!
A delicate-looking Black-necked Stilt pauses during its search for breakfast.
Snowy Egrets are very common here but I still can’t resist taking pictures of them.
The wonderful clear song of the Eastern Meadowlark was absent today, even though I found a half-dozen of the beautiful birds. I think they’re molting and may be vulnerable to predators until their new feathers arrive. Not a good time to announce your presence.
A muddy bill leaves no doubt where this Little Blue Heron has been searching for his meal.
I was laying in the weeds trying to get a photo of a dragonfly when this Osprey flew in low over the tops of the reeds. I’m not sure which one of us was more surprised.
A Limpkin thinking outside the lunch box. It appears he was probing the wet sand for, well, I’m not sure what he was after. Pretty certain it wasn’t the Apple Snail he usually hunts.
This pair of Red-shouldered Hawks faced the rising sun over the wetlands and scanned the marsh for anything moving. They did NOT appreciate my presence. It got very noisy and I retreated.
He knew I was there, but this Brown Anole didn’t take his eye off the ant he was tracking.
One of the man-made structures above a spillway made a fine perch for a Great Blue Heron to spot fish swimming too close to the surface.
Grow a little algae on your back, dab your face with a bit of duckweed and “voila”, you’re completely hidden from potential prey. Nope, couldn’t possibly spot this fellow. Absolutely invisible.
A few female Boat-tailed Grackle found a convenient preening place.
Turtle eggs excavated and eaten by a predator. A raccoon running from the scene, not with an egg, but with an entire turtle! All of this plus the black mask – your honor, the evidence is overwhelming.
A female Four-spotted Pennant atop a spent cattail.
Yep, it’s hot and very tempting to remain within the cool air-conditioned hut. But then you’d just have to listen to me complain some more. Now, we wouldn’t want that — would we?
Avoid the doldrums. Go birding! Now!
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit!