|Long-horned beetle exploring a Florida cactus flower|
|Black Vulture in left, Short-tailed Hawk on right.|
Today began with careful scanning of the skies near the western shores of Lake Weohyakapka, looking for Florida specialty species - the Short-tailed Hawk. Was surprised to learn from Larry, the raptor's normal prey are birds. Can't fault that diet, as must admit, am fond of eating birds too.
|The inset of the Short-tailed Hawk|
By now, the Short-tail was farther off, but a string of photos managed. The pix are out of focus, but that's because that beauty was so far off. The photo shown is an inset from the upper photo. I must say, a fuzzy pic makes for a happier 'moi' than no photos at all. It took me um... 18 years, but as of today, the Short-tailed Hawk perches proudly on my life list. Go me!
Our next bird was also a 'speciality' meaning birders 'flock' to Florida just to see the species. We now looked for the Florida Scrub Jay. To start, Larry took us to where the species had been easily seen in the past. Arriving at the local State Park, the friendly woman park ranger looked suitably grieved to inform us the birds were for no known reason - absent. However, she was quick to give us a map and directions to a location where the birds have been seen recently. Soon Larry was driving the van in an ever-decreasing Fibonacci swirl. Eventually we arrived at - inhale deeply prior to saying this out loud - Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek State Park - Whew!
The park was strange, as the ground beneath our feet was sand.
|Sandy parking lot at Allen Dav... er... Catfish Creek Park|
|Innocent sandy, shrubby habitat at the park|
|Prickly Pear Cactus were scattered in the brush|
|Florida Jay calling|
|A bit of a pose here...|
|Larry, Steve and Marian after successful Jay viewing|