Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Space Coast: Saturday

The Hal Scott Preserve field trip had us in place, in front of a longleaf pine tree, before the sun rose. Our quarry: an endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

A bird did appear in the cavity of that tree and briefly explored the upper-right branches before flying back to another tree to feed. We saw three more RCWO during our chilly visit to this spot.

We also enjoyed Eastern Bluebirds, Eastern Meadowlarks and Loggerhead Shrikes before driving to the next area. I got a kick out of all the Black Vultures there and liked hearing their loudly flapping wings.

A Tufted Titmouse made me smile, and a reluctant Sedge Wren impressed me with its intricate plumage. While standing on a bridge with this view...

a Barred Owl flew in, perhaps to investigate the source of leader Lorne Malo's Eastern Screech-Owl tape. The owl remained for a long time, allowing leader Jeff Gordon to take a digiscoped image and me to take this photo through my binocular.

A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker also flew by very closely, giving excellent looks at its striking plumage. At another location within the preserve, I enjoyed really good views of a White-eyed Vireo, thanks to Jeff, who later called in a flock of Brown-headed Nuthatches. What adorable birds! I'm offically smitten by their social behavior and rubber-ducky calls (which you can hear at the above link).

A lengthy stroll led to another bridge, where I enjoyed taking pictures of the trees reflected in the water.

Sometimes -- like when the alarm goes off at 4:15 a.m. -- I wonder about the sanity of this activity, but when I'm outdoors and soaking up the natural beauty and the birds, I question the sanity a little less. Know what I mean?


Blogger birdchick said...

Nice Barred Owl shot!

Love the habitat photos, it's nice to see from my ice box.

January 31, 2007 8:06 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

that last shot is gorgeous, and what a view of the Barred Owl! I wish I was there.

January 31, 2007 8:15 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thank you, ladies, for the kind words about the photos. I'm glad that you enjoyed them.

January 31, 2007 9:20 AM  

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