St Marks Sat AM
- This morning Pam Flynn, Bill Hudgens and I pedaled (aka Birdking) the St Marks NWR main road and saw lots of interesting stuff. The White Pelicans were out a ways at Stoney Bayou with 2 Roseate Spoonbills nearby. Black Necked Stilts were still in the same area, too, along with a Black-bellied Plover, Tri-colored Heron and Reddish Egret.
We were pretty shocked to see abundant numbers of rats hanging out by the road right near the lighthouse. They didn't seem to think any birds of prey were nearby and we wondered where they were too. We took the path out to the jetty and lots of mice, this time, perused at the side of the trail. On the mudflats to our right a Great Horned Owl was on the ground just 20' away. He flew short distances a few times as we rode around to the boat launch area. We told him about the rats and mice but he ignored our tip.
We started back, heard and saw a few Seaside Sparrows (thanks Andy) and lots of Marsh Wrens. A couple of Nighthawks approached, passed closeby and boomed several times. Abundant E Towhee's were singing and calling, a few Pine Warblers and Common Yellowthroats. We heard chick cries from a cedar tree, it was a male Orchard Oriole closely followed by a fledgling. We also spied a male raccoon sleeping up in that tree. 1 Mississippi Kite soared.
At Headquarters Pond we saw Green Heron and a couple of Yellow-crowned Night Herons (1 imm, 1 adult) and along the way Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, White-eyed Vireo, Barn Swallow, E Kingbird, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Great-crested Flycatcher and Downy Woodpecker - 2 female Florida Softshell Turtles, too.
We stopped at the Visitor's Ctr to renew our duck stamps and heard our only Red-eyed Vireo and Red-shouldered Hawk.
A great day!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]