Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Days for the Birds

We are having a fantastic time seeing lots of great birds, enjoying a bit of warmth, and meeting some great folks in our group.
Yesterday afternoon we visited a very small orange grove, Marshall's, which has been owned and operated by the same family since 1948. They are leaning toward organic gardening and hand-picking. Bob Marshall, the owner, is a very dynamic speaker who is extremely passionate about his fruit. Check them out!

On Monday we had a private visit to Lake Apopka and saw two Purple Gallinules (see my previous post), so I felt as if anything else we saw would be downhill. Not so!!! We also saw many other interesting and gorgeous birds: egrets, herons, bald eagles, osprey, anhingas, etc. Yesterday, Tuesday, we visited Seminole State Forest and learned a lot about the endangered Florida Scrub Jay from Biologist Ralph Risch. He studies the jays there, bands them, and keeps track of the various family groups.

Today C and I and two of our good friends, took a side trip to our favorite Merritt Island to see what we could see, and we were not disappointed. I love the Roseate Spoonbill, and we were so thrilled to see quite a few of them feeding in the canals. Here is one

I took a video of it scooping and swinging its head from side to side, but the internet here isn't quite strong enough to upload the video to blogger. Maybe another time!

Here's another group of Roseate Spoonbill

Another amazing bird that is not too common (especially to us) is the White Pelican. We were fortunate enough to find this group feeding in amongst a huge flock of Coots

and just as we were departing Merritt Island, look who was there to say good bye

Hope your day has been beautiful too!



Beverly said...

From one who'd never been to Florida until my son moved there in 2001- I was amazed at the bird life we saw on a trip to the Keys. Enjoy the warmth and the birds!

PaMdora said...

argh, jealous of the warm weather, beautiful birds and landscapes! Looks like you're having a wonderful time. Enjoy!

Gerrie said...

Love that spoonbill character!! Have fun!!

Eva Hagbjärn said...

What wonderful pictures, I like especially the one with the alligator =)
Kram Eva

Eva said...

How lucky you are and how exiting this trip must be! Enjoy spring!

Jeannie said...

I love the spoonbill! What a gorgeous bird. We have white pelicans and I love when they are going up river in a row - they look like a row of Z's with their beaks lined up. I didn't know coots were so wide spread, especially since the eagles here like them for snacks -bleah!
Glad you are having warm weather and fun.

Diana Parkes said...

No alligators or crocodiles in New Zealand! Thank goodness.....

Elizabeth said...

Fabulous post_ love all of your wonderful bird photos!!! THe pelicans are terrific and so much prettier than the gray ones we see in North and South Carolina!!!
Glad that you met mr Croc on the way OUT!!!