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October 30, 2014
Birds, birds, birds everywhere! That’s how I feel every time I visit Florida. They wade along the side of the road, in shallow ponds that are apparently full of food sources. The herons, ibises, Limpkins, and Wood Storks dip their long bills into the water, nonchalantly hunting for prey while cars whiz by them at 50 miles per hour. I can’t tell you how many times I whipped the car around only to pull onto the grassy edge of the through-way to snap a few photos. Since more and more of their habitat is being developed for residential neighborhoods or commercial sprawl, it’s good to see that they are at least trying to make it in marginal habitat as well. It renews my commitment to help protect their natural habitat, as I’m sure Wood Storks are a lot more majestic surrounded by giant cypress trees.
One of my favorite birding moments of the trip came when we were driving down a road in between agricultural fields. On our left side was a small pond, gleaming in the afternoon sun. The water was dotted with waterfowl and a few shorebirds. I’m still a little unsure about the identifications, but someone has suggested Blue-winged Teal and Greater Yellowlegs, so I’m going to go with that for now. As we slowed the car and rolled down our windows, the flock took off, showing their bright blue wings that seemed to be reflecting the sky itself. While I was disappointed that they had flown away, the photo that resulted was amazing.