Missing words…

SLB:  The Killdeers (a pair) hang out at the same spot.  There seem to be just the two of them and they are always milling around the new rest-room that SWFWMD installed at WWP.  There are some crushed white lime-rock chunks scattered around and I think they regard it as a sort of beach or sandbar.  It’s right next to the lake, but they’re always on the high-ground.  Either that, or they both have bladder infections and don’t want to be too far away from the facilities?!

I don’t ‘do’ APPS as I don’t have a cell-phone.  However, I am signed up for eBird ALERTS (a single click) and every time a new species is sighted in the county, I get an email telling me what and where – mind you, they’re usually from me!!

I wish I had a “same old” Yellow-crowned Night Heron.  I don’t think I’ve seen one ever in Hernando.  I very rarely see the Black-crowned Night Herons here either.  I was hoping to see one yesterday as I had the chance to spend a couple of hours in Pinellas (yippee!!) but none showed up.  I had to collect my wife from Tampa Airport, so I set off early and went to Kapok (a hidden gem).  After that, I meant to go to the beach on the CCC but got a bit confused as to which lane wasn’t for the Bayside Bridge and ended up stopping at Ben T. Davis instead.  That was fine (shame about the parking fees) but I was running out of time by then and they’d closed off some of the beach walk, so I gave it up after taking a load of “decode later” shots.  There seemed to be several Godwits around and what, at first glance, looks like over 200 Terns.  they’ll probably turn out to be Gulls or seaweed?!

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Jo:  No, I don’t think I’ve had Hummers in February.  I did have one stray Rufous visit me on January 1st, but they don’t seem to like visiting me when heading North.  I’ll check my records and see exactly when they do and don’t swing by.

The Pipevine ID was easy because it was munching on a Dutchman’s Pipevine plant!  I think that’s the only plant it’ll eat and I think that’s the only caterpillar that’ll eat it, so it was the obvious place to do my Google Images confirmation.  The guy at BAMONA confirmed it within 20 minutes, so it didn’t seem to require much ruling out.  I also saw a Great Purple Hairstreak and BAMONA said that it was only found in “mistletoe infested woods”.  I do seem to have a lot of mistletoe growing in my back-yard.

Hmm, ABA ticks.  I always get confused with those.  I’ll check it out on eBird later (they have a “what’s this?” option) and I’ve been to it before specifically to get the skinny on ABA ticks.  However, I can’t remember what they said about them, only that I recall thinking “Aaahh, I see!”.

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Group:  So, the Sandhill Cranes came back this morning.  That’s three visits in a row.  Now I know what pulled up my Squash plants (and probably what murdered my Tomatoes too) but it’s a fair trade I guess.  I did manage to ‘hand-feed’ them today (from the yellow bowl) but they didn’t like the camera so I couldn’t do both at once.  They discovered (and seem to love) the millet in the feed.  I used to buy the premium stuff (lots of sunflowers) but that just brought in wave after wave of squirrels.  Now I’m on the cheaper stuff (mostly millet) the Cardinals, C. Wrens and TTMs seem to still enjoy it and the squirrels don’t bother.  However, the Cranes have now acquired a taste for them and vacuum up vast quantities of the stuff (much to the annoyance of the Mourning, E.C and C. G Doves).  I guess something’s gotta give and there is a ‘pecking order’ after all!

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