|Jodie and the Fawn|
On our way to the first stop, Larry pulled the van over to watch a bloody beaked Crested Caracara, that was busy nibbling at some roadside offal: a smashed skunk. I'll bide a bit while you go barf.
You stopped ailing? Here are photos of the snazzy little eagle prepping to leave, after we had a nice look at it.
|To infinity and beyond!|
|Entering Three Lakes Management area|
|Red-cockaded Woodpecker not my photo|
Also enjoyed were Brown-headed Nuthatches an Eastern Bluebird and a few warblers. The road we were parked on was sandy white, pebbly, and straight through the woodlands. Larry paced up and down on the gravel, listening for and identifying the various birdsong. He pointed out two of Bachman's Sparrows calling out their rather pretty tunes, off in the distance. Soon as the birds weren't moving toward us, we moved toward the birds, into the pines, . I was a tad apprehensive. What if I tripped, or...? My worry served me well, as I moved carefully through the low growing palmetto, that seemed dead set on catching my shoelaces to trip me. That I kept my eyes cast down had benefits - there were some nice wildflowers to be seen below.
|Jury's still out on this one's ID|
|Swallow-tailed Kite showing its beautiful shining cape 'with tails'|
|Huzzah! My lifer Bachman's Sparrow|
|Curious Bachman's Sparrow|
The sparrow sang for us a bit, and when I headed off for the road, it was still there. What a fantastic treat to watch the bird for such a nice long time. LIFER!
On our way to the next spot, Larry spotted a roadside Wild Turkey hen.
|She seemed to have a few secrets...|
|...hopping after her in the tall grass|
|I can't remember ever seeing such young turkey chicks|
|All together I counted at least seven speckled puffballs|
|The Limpkin dragged a snail onto a lawn...|
|...a sly White Ibis slunk over to nab some of the treat|
|NOT ON MY WATCH BUSTER!|
|snail shell & cell phone|
The evil White Ibis did get a bit of the snail, but the snail seemed large enough for everyone to get a meal off of it. Don't believe me? Check out the size of the things!
After lunch, we all headed over to Joe Overstreet Road, which was one of the places I remember best from earlier trips to Florida. Fair amount of wildlife on the road down to the lake.
|A couple of Sandhill Cranes worked the roadside by a pasture|
|Joe Overstreet ends at Lake Kissammee|
|Marian spotted some spots in the sky far off,|
a pair of Snail Kites that put on something of an airshow
|slightly better view of one of the Snail Kites - Damn me but they were so cool|
|Beautiful pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks|
|Black-bellies showing off their fine upright stance|
|on the left, Lifer Muscovy - check!|
|Marian and Steve peering at way-out-on-the-lake Fulvous Whistling Duck|
I got slightly better than a-poke-in-the-eye shots with my little Lumix camera through Larry's spotting scope. The duck is the eensie blot in the lower center of the vignetted shot to the left here. Isn't the duck just the cutest?
|Inset of the Fulvous|
Yes, that is a genuine Fulvous Whistling Duck, and it's the best shot I've got of the species so far. While we checked out the duck, a couple more Fulvous flew in, but they were even farther off. Oh well, we were all happy we got to add the ducks to our daily birds seen list.
Final note, there are some interesting dragonflies and butterflies in Florida - not that I care at all about insects, but look at this little darning needle.
|Blue Dragonfly - that's its description and its species|