Monday, November 17, 2014

November at the Beach

Life keeps getting in the way of my blogging. I seem to take more grandchildren photos with my iPhone and post them to Facebook now than I take bird photos. This week, though, we are in the Florida Panhandle, avoiding some of the deep cold in Kentucky, but dressing warmly nonetheless. This morning's thunderstorms were followed by dropping temps and winds that kicked huge spray off the waves. It's dark by 4:45 here in the Central Time Zone, so between the cold and dark, our outings are shorter than on other trips. With careful planning, it will still be a good vacation though.
Brown-headed Nuthatch
The Conservation Park sounded good, and the map showed lots of ponds and wetlands. Unfortunately, the wetlands were full of bushes and trees in shallow standing water, so there was no place for any water fowl at all. The field guide describes the Brown-headed Nuthatch as a bird of the Southern pine lands, and we realized that's where we've always seen them. This little guy enjoyed standing in the warm sunshine.
Red-bellied Woodpecker
A Red-bellied Woodpecker searched the cracks and crevasses of a dead pine branch searching for insects. The park is actually planted with young pine trees in rows, and part of it was closed for a few weeks while they harvest the older trees. Doesn't quite sound like a "park" to me.
Southern Leopard Frog
 A few insects chirped in the brush, but everything else was quiet in the cold. One Leopard Frog decided he could warm up faster by sitting on the white sand of the roadway. He wasn't afraid of us a bit!
Down the road we found Lake Powell and Camp Helen State Park just as the shadows started to lengthen. The firm sand is perfect for walking on, even wearing shoes. I love the Pelicans, and will do a separate blog post about them, no doubt. 
Bald Eagle on the Beach
As we turned back, I focused on a dark blob sitting on the sand.OMG! It's a Bald Eagle! I've seen them around the ocean before, but never actually sitting on the sand. Looks like a teenager - maybe 4 1/2 years old, and just growing his white head.
When he flew off, you could see the brown and white mottling, normally found in immature eagles. Anyway, it was a good afternoon.

No comments: