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Sunrise on the Bird Walk

Sunday January 4, 2015
From Myakka River Site 84 to Oscar Scherer Site 90




This morning we go down to the bird walk at dawn to see if the traffic is heavier than it was on our visit yesterday afternoon. With all the fog out we know our chances are slim to see anything until the sun burns it off.   Things are definitely socked in.





Up close on the boardwalk to the viewing platform we can see  the beautiful artwork of nature’s excellent weavers.




But even with my 50X zoom lens, these spoonbills are a foggy duo.



It is fun watching what I think is a heron hopping around in the fog.  He’s acting a bit like a reddish egret dancing.







Fairly close to the platform a wood stork and black necked stilt are foraging.



As we near 8:00, the sun begins burning a bit of a hole through the fog.




Things begin to clear up.  This little warbler is quite the acrobat.  From the bobbing of his tail I think he may be a palm warbler but since his butt is butter he might be a yellow rumped.  Hope Judy can help me out, I’m terrible at warblers even when they stand fairly still.   I catch the third shot of him later in the morning.





I catch this shot of him later in the morning as he hangs around the platform running around on the floor boards and flitting on the side boards.  The volunteer who is here with the scope says the warbler is around all the time but even looking in his Sibley Bird Book isn’t sure it’s a palm.  Usually the volunteers are excellent birders.  I think this man is, like me, an aspiring birder.  I admire him for his efforts to learn from some of the people for whom he sets the scope.





The black necked stilt is showing off his pink legs and high stepping it through the water.  They are such a contrast with their formal black and white attire, they almost look like they are wearing tuxedos but then pink legs.  Too funny!




A group of Northern Shovelers congregates and dabbles around. 





It’s a great morning for variety.  White pelicans and pink roseate spoonbills finish up our time at the Bird Walk this morning.








It has really turned into a beautiful morning, blue skies, wispy white clouds, swaying palms.





On the side of the lake as we are headed for home we stop to watch the sand hill cranes.  We had been hearing them at the platform.  Their call is so distinctive, you know it’s them immediately.  I got some pictures of them through the fog but these are much better of them on the edge of the lake.







This has been a lovely way to begin the day.  But now it’s time to pack up and head back to Oscar Scherer for a final two weeks.


It’s a short drive and soon we are set up in a few sites down from where we were before our Myakka week-end.   This site is pretty narrow but it has a nice “backyard” overlooking South Creek.   The set up of the site doesn’t encourage us to pull in so we’ll have to enjoy the creek from our outside chairs.  Hope it will be warm enough for sitting out.







The back yard is plenty big so I really can’t figure out why they decided to put the clothes pole right in the middle of the river view rather than in the big space to the left of the table which is most easily seen in the final picture.









Temperatures are dropping so I’m not sure how much beaching or paddling we’ll be doing in the near future.   It’s predicted to get down as low as 42 here tomorrow night.  I know those of you in single digits and below zero temperatures don’t have much sympathy for us and I don’t blame you.



  1. Your bird pictures are always a pleasure to view. Have you ever considered attending one of the birding festivals in Florida? We did a few walks with the Nature Coast Birding Festival last year that we enjoyed.

  2. I don't recall ever seeing a black necked stilt. He is such an interesting bird. I guess I need to watch out for one of them. The fog burned off nicely and you got some really great shots. It's warmed up here some, so hopefully you'll be able to enjoy your last two weeks at Oscar Scherer.

  3. School closed 3 days so far this week up here due to the windchills and yesterday we had blowing snow issues. 42 sounds like a little slice of heaven! But I get it. I was laughing at your bird identification issue, not at you, but because it reminded me of a bit of Louis CK's comedy special Katrina and I were watching the other day. Here's the YouTube link, he says s**t twice in case that offends anyone who follows the link but otherwise he's a pretty clean comic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkwfkU0hRZM

  4. Can't wait to see all those birds next year! Thanks for the preview.

  5. I could almost feel the humidity just looking at those fog photos:-)

  6. Florida has such a wealth of bird watching, and so many great parks. I love the spoonbills and sand hill cranes. We have to get back, our last trip was way too fast

  7. Like your map on the slide. I assume the states colored in are the ones Winona has been to. 2 degrees here yesterday morning

  8. Close, but no cigar on the warbler. It's a palm warbler. :)

    1. I really need to quit typing or proofread better. I knew it wasn't a pine warbler since there are only a few pines here DUH. I meant to put palm warbler. Maybe I should quit this gig. Thanks again Judy.

    2. I thank both of you for the bird ID. There were many of them in the Keys and I really enjoyed their flying abilities. I could not find him in my little bird book.
      I will have to spend more time with the Sand Hill Cranes, I did not know they talk. Perhaps I have heard them and not known it.

  9. So glad you didn't wait for the sun to burn through to take pictures. I love the ones in the fog, catching a world that keeps moving regardless of the lack of bright sun. The diamond web is magical. I don't know a warbler from a wobbler so I'm learning a lot from your sightings (I could be in trouble if there's a test, but I'm trying). Winnona's spot looks pretty sweet, even with the why-would-you-put-it-there post. We're cloudy this morning but 55 with a forecast of 72 means we canNOT make disparaging weather remarks in public :-)

  10. Your birding morning turned out great even with the early fog. How do you hold still enough at 50x zoom? When I try that all I get is blur. Your site is an unusual shape with tight parking and a large backyard. My favorite photo is that dew dripping spider web that looks like fine lace.

  11. Great bird shots in the fog! I love that black necked stilt and those pink legs. I've never seen these before. I'll have to be on the look out if we return to FL. Some of the roseate spoonbills are so dark pink...just beautiful:) Great bird photos, Sherry!

  12. You are right about the camp site being sort of weird - that pole could have easily been placed in a different spot, although after an active day I'd love relaxing in one of those chairs and probably wouldn't give 2 cents where the pole is located! The bird photos were all great. I love watching birds, but for some reason I can't remember that many of them - guess I made it a point to ID and find out about all the birds at my feeder in NC, and of course in Ireland I loved all the different birds there.

  13. As usual, love your pictures! The warbler was so cute. Also like the palms and spider web. I thought of you the other day while we were pedaling through Seaside while camped at Grayton Beach. There is a Duckie Store there. Everything ducky! I wanted to buy the guy out front and send it to you but I don't think it would fit on Winnona's dash! He is a 3 ft rubber ducky! (Sorry, thought I could post a small picture here, but guess not). Have you been there before?

  14. The bird shots are marvelous! A very different mood early in the day.

  15. Love the bike ride to the bird walkway. Early morning definitely is the best...can't wait to spend some time there. Looking forward to our first stay at Oscar Scherer as well:o))

  16. Sometimes it's so hard to identify birds. There are so many that look the same, it's even hard to know where to begin! Thank goodness for Judy :)

  17. We need to get down to Myakka to see those spoonbills. Maybe next week.

  18. I like the stilt. Nice that the fog wore off. Myakka really does have great birds!

  19. Even in the fog you find beauty. :-) Your spiderweb is a work of art. And I love the black necked stilts with their pink legs -- always a favorite, and we don't see them very often. Your bird photos make me homesick for Florida.

  20. I actually like the foggy bird pictures. Especially the heron! The warbler, whatever kind he is,is pretty but I really like the way the plant he's standing on contrasts with his color and fades into the background. Looks like you had a great morning. It's a heat wave today 23 degrees. It actually doesn't feel very cold out. xxxooo

  21. We were JUST there this past weekend! The sandhill cranes even got my non-birder boyfriend excited about birds. We enjoyed birding and hiking around, and the chilly weather meant it wasn't too buggy. We took the hike to Deep Hole and saw more alligators in one spot than we've seen during the rest of our stay here combined. My favorite part of Myakka was the Canopy Walk, getting that high up perspective in Florida was a real treat. Thanks for sharing!


  22. Well you got many great shots both in the fog and after it. I particularly like the shovelers and by your picture I can see how they got that name with those broad bills. I could not make out that detail with the 8 or 10 power binoculars.


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