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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival Day 1

The frist day is done, at least for me.  I met the field trip at St. Sebastian River Preserve in the dark of morning.  We headed out and waited and waited for the Red-cockaded woodpeckers to emerge.  One bird had moved in the last week to a cavity right next to the road.  Perhaps that is why the delay.  More likely, it was the cooler weather that keeps the food (ants and other bark foraging insects) in bed later.

Sammy was her usual excellent self, making arrangements for vehicles, keeping track of the birds, informing everyone about RCW's and what is happening at the preserve.  We got extended views of four RCW's and a special appearance by two Brown-headed nuthatches.  Bachman's sparrows were unusually silent.  They don't usually do much singing at this time of year, it is barely the beginning of the season for them, but they are usually quite vocal at dawn.  We heard only one doing it's high thin wake up call, and not very often at that.  Attempts to see the bird were met with failure.

Lastly, at the preserve, we saw a pair of Florida scrub jays along Scrub Jay Road.  Only two of the four were present.  Perhaps the other two were across the canal on the south 40.  This family's territory stretches across two canals, a tall line of trees, and about 150' of open grass.  Not the usual pattern for this species.  Perhaps it is a tribute to the great management of scrub habitat on the other side of the canal.

Now, I rest a bit.  I won't be going to HQ this evening.  Tomorrow, I will go and stay the night, but today I must rest.

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