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Friday, May 06, 2016

Key West Bird Fest

Trio of White-crowned Pigeons in Key West
Well nearly a blue sky!
Double fudge dagnabbit, today was the final day of the South Florida tour! To begin the day as we headed out to breakfast, Larry halted the van, allowing photography of  White-crowned pigeons against a spectacularly clear, blue sky.
Oh, there'd been other chances for pix of White-crowns but not so close or with such a good setting. White-crowns are so regal looking - for pigeons anyway.

We made a short stop at the Key West Wildlife Center where injured critters find health care and solace. We ran across far more convalescing critters than wild birds there. I did enjoy the chance to get up front and personal with a small flock of juvenile White Ibis.

We then returned to Fort Zachary Taylor Park for a long morning walk on the look-out for interesting birds and hopefully a few vagrant birds. The park held quite a number of warblers.

Cape May Warbler
Tennessee Warbler with caterpillar snack
Black and White Warbler
male Blackpoll Warbler
male Chestnut-sided Warbler

While roaming around in the shrubbery what we hoped was a Connecticut Warbler was heard. I was really praying for that one to pan out, but the energetic songster was a pretty little Northern Waterthrush.
Trilling Northern Waterthrush

Northern Waterthrush no longer pretending to be a Connecticut Warbler
Really, seeing so many different warblers in one morning is something I used to dream about when I was a kid, so I can't emphasis how happy those little feathered flutterbys make me. There were loads of other bird types about too.
Magnificent Frigatebird
Green Heron up a tree
I could post another dozen birds we saw at Zachary Taylor, but I'll cut you a break, and just show you some of the humans roaming the park.
Steve, Marian and Larry posing for me at Zachary Taylor
Oh, and before leaving Zachary Taylor, I ought to show at least a bit of the park that doesn't include birdies.  The park surrounds the actual Fort Zachary Taylor. Scrambling around my photographs it was hard to come up with a good view of the fort, but here's the best I've got. The first view below was taken through a screen of saplings, and across the greenish looking moat. I was slightly distracted by birds, can you tell?
A view of a Fort Zachary Taylor wall
Only slightly better view of Fort Zachary Taylor
The fort is just to the right of this photo (with cruise ship in distance)
This spot complete with canon balls is located inside the fort which I never went into
The Fort can be toured, but we were there for the birdies so that's what we stuck to. Just to show I'm not immune to other 'pretty things' however, here are two non-bird beings.
Cassius Blue Butterfly
Zebra Longwing Butterfly
Zachary Taylor State Park was by no means the end of my last day in Florida, but I'll save the rest for another post. You've seen enough winged beings for just now.

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