Sunday, January 13, 2013

Jay Watch Results at Blue Springs

Time for the next Jay Watch results event. This year we were back at Blue Springs as we were two years ago. I always like to get there right when the park opens to get some good parking and to do a little hiking before the presentation begins. Awaiting us just out of the van were a couple of Black Vultures.

Black Vulture

The weather has been very warm this year so unfortunately there were not a lot of manatee in the springs. We saw a few signs but no clear views. The only thing we could make out under water was a large gator resting on the bottom.

American Alligator

Heavy fog plagued the drive all the way. Walking to the landing, we could make out a Fog Bow. I used my son's camera to try and grab a few frames to get it all in and later got a chance to combine the shots into a full view. My first actually nice fog bow.

Fog Bow

Heading back up the boardwalk, a stop at the first overlook had a Ruby-crowned Kinglet land so close I couldn't get a shot. A White-eyed Vireo zipped past for an OK shot.

White-eyed Vireo

I noticed a statue at the next overlook and tried to get a shot but these kids kept getting in the way. Oh, well.

The Boys

The Sun was rising quickly behind the oaks. I didn't care if the Thursby House was obscured in shadow.

Thursby House

Things were very quiet all the way up to the end of the boardwalk where Blue Spring reaches the surface.

Blue Spring

I've always enjoyed the view from the top of the cliff over the spring head. Sometimes you get steam mixed in but it is great view whenever you are there.

Blue Spring

Heading back down the walk, we find a number of Alligator Gar hanging in the current.

Alligator Gar

Back near the river, the Alligator had surfaced for a closer look.

American Alligator

Hanging out at the mouth of the spring run were several Double-crested Cormorant coming into breeding plumage.

Double-crested Cormorant

We headed up a trail in search of...something. No real activity there so we had to settle for another type of bow for the day. A Web Bow. Next time you are near different spider webs, try to position yourself in the light and you might just find a nice spectrum display.

Spider Web

Back near the river and we find another Cormorant flying ahead of the many crew teams slicing up the waters.

Double-crested Cormorant

Some find Black Vultures ugly. I think they are pretty in their own way.

Black Vulture

Especially up close. Devoid of carrion and poop.

Black Vulture

There were scores of Black Vultures but I did find a couple Turkey Vultures hiding among the Black Vulture flock.

Turkey Vulture

It was finally time to head over for Scrub Jay results (some good, some not so good). As we sat and listened to the speakers, a family of Carolina Wrens would not be ignored. They often flew right next to us and called and called loudly.

Carolina Wren

Now for the trip home. Next search for new Scrub Jays begins in the Summer.

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