Sunday, July 10, 2016

Jaywatch, 2016, Pt. 2

My 2nd day at Buck Lake for the Jay Watch this year. Many known faces and a few new ones as we gathered for the group photo before heading out to our check points.


Once I settled in to my first point I took a bit of time to move up the trail during one of the in between call playing sessions. I was mainly looking at the trees but as I headed back to my starting point I gazed down and noticed a Black Bear paw print in the road! They looked fairly fresh. It rained last night so these prints were probably from not too long ago. They lead directly check point flag and disappeared into the scrub. Gulp!

Black Bear Paw Print

Along the road were a few flowers including a native pink spiderwort also called Roseling (Cuthbertia ornate).


At my next check point was was positioned to look back toward the rising Sun and to where I was not long ago. I began to play the call files and noticed several silhouettes approaching me. Could they be a family of Scrub Jays? No. A family of Eastern Towhee with two adults and several newly fledged young.

Eastern Towhee

We passed this stalk of flowering Palmetto on the way back to our initial check points and I was glad we had a chance to come back by it again so I could get a photo.


I even got to walk past it as we headed toward the truck and get an even closer view. Never saw such a stalk before.


Our driver, Pete, did find our one Jay of the morning.

Florida Scrub Jay

My next two stops were in areas not that common for the Jays so I always look for more flowers like the Loblolly Bay.

Loblolly Bay

My final point had a good number of Asters blooming at the edge of the roadway.


A pretty scene for the end of the day. These areas are burned periodically to clear the way for a Jay friendly environment. Snags still stand above the lush new growth and tower into the sky.


Only one Scrub Jay in our transect. I recall many more in this area years ago so it is kind of sad. We will see how the data compiles later in the year. Hopefully, the birds are gaining ground in different areas.

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