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Observations & Images
18 November 2006
Pre-Nesting Wildlife Encounters

After checking to make sure the Osprey nest is still empty, Alice Rowe and I decided to hike Pete's Impoundment Trail. Immediately upon setting out we came upon this Loggerhead Shrike lit by the first rays of the rising Sun.
A chilly wind was blowing which kept bird activity to a minimum for the first part of the morning until things could heat up. This Northern Mockingbird has its back to the wind while waiting for the Sun to get higher.
We came upon a group of Vultures, including this Turkey Vulture, just off to one side of the trail. Alice discovered that the Vultures were dining on a dead Raccoon for breakfast. We decided not to join them since the Raccoon looked a bit underdone and the morning was too cold for eating alfresco.
A distant view of two River Otters searching for prey. The Otters disturbed an American Coot out of the reeds that was too shy to have its picture taken for it kept a good distance away before heading back into the reeds.
Front view of a Palm Warbler.
A distant view of an American Kestrel. These small birds of prey are usually long gone before even the most stealthy approach can get one near enough for a close view.
A Tricolored Heron braces against the brisk wind.
The purpose of the hike was to photograph the great number of Ospreys which have been regularly seen recently along the north side of the trail. Today we could hear Ospreys out-of-sight beyond the mangroves but only a handful of individuals ended up flying overhead and those did not stick around for long.
The silhouette of a yawning White Ibis.
Our arrival on a secluded part of the trail at a small opening in the mangrove trees startled a large number of Wood Storks and White Ibis which rose in a great cloud of wings and moved off to another part of the Impoundment. Many less panicky wading birds remained including at least ten Roseate Spoonbills, two of which can be seen here, along with two White Ibis, a Snowy Egret, a Tricolored Heron, and a mystery bird in the center background which may be one of the Yellowlegs. This is only a handful of the birds in the area.
The downside to this treasure trove of birds is that they were between us and the Sun making for badly lit pictures. Here a preening Roseate Spoonbill is ignored by a Snowy Egret.
A flock of White Pelicans flew over the wading birds.
After hiking the length of Pete's Impoundment Trail, Alice and I ventured out to the observation tower at the end of the Centennial Trail where a pair of Wood Storks soared by before finally coming to a landing on Pelican Island itself.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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