Birder's Eye View

Friday, May 9, 2008

On the road

“Living on Earth without knowing anything about nature is like living in Tokyo without knowing a word of Japanese. Sure, you can get by. But you’re going to miss a lot of what's going on.”
- Kenn Kaufman
Yesterday, I went on a 100 mile trip to Cheifland. It was a LOT of driving, mostly down monotonously long, straight, desolate highways. The landscape didn't change much the entire way; sometimes a few more hills here and there, or some agricultural fields. But for the most part, it seemed like we were driving in place for hours.

Much as I hate riding in the car, though, ever since I started birding, road trips have become significantly more interesting. About three quarters of the way through there, two Barn Swallows swooped in front of the car, becoming number 84 on my year list.

While in Chiefland, (which, to its credit, is one of the friendliest little towns I've ever been in) my mom and I took a trip to Manatee Springs State Park.

The spring was breathtaking. Turquoise blue water bubbled out from an enormous underwater cave. It was surrounded by cyprus trees, and the water was so clear you could see little turtles and mullet swimming around.

As we followed the boardwalk into the cyprus woods, the air was filled with bird songs! It was almost overwhelming; some of the sounds were familiar -- Tufted Titmice and cardinals -- and some I had never heard before.

Then my mom pointed towards a tree.

"What's that?" she asked.
"Where?" I said.
"Over there!"
"Omigosh, it's a Prothonotary Warbler!"
"A what?"

The little bird flew down to the cyprus knees, right in front of us (see above picture). I was really exciting -- that's a lifer!

Further down the boardwalk, we came out to the Suwannee River. It was so big, it looked a lake.

On our way out to the parking lot, something caught my eye. Nope, not a bird, for once! It looked like a puppy darting around next to the rental canoes. A fox kit! Possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. :-)

By the end of the day, I had seen two year birds and a life bird. Not anywhere near what I had hoped for, but it was fun anyway. My year list is now up to 85.

Happy birding!

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  • Very nice Andrea!! Prothonotaries are tricky to come by here unless you live right by the river. Even then, it usually takes a trip into the river bottoms to find them. I see yours wasn't a full adult male. They're very striking in full summer plumage.

    Olympus is a good camera. I've always gone with Canon though. I'll be posting some of my 100+ pictures for the day in a little bit. One thing about DSLRs is that you end up taking a TON of pictures.

    By Blogger Parus, At May 11, 2008 at 9:15 PM  

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