Monday, February 25, 2013
Our Princess Place walk
The day was a bit gray and overcast, but five of us turned out for our scheduled field trip to Princess Place Preserve on February 25. Rain threatened but never came down, and and it made the weather just about perfect! Not too hot, nor was it too cool. Just a nice day for a bird walk in a spectacular setting on the banks of Pellicer Creek.
After scanning the waters from the porch of the rustic lodge, at the confluence of Pellicer Creek and the Matanzas River, we took a hike along the shores of the creek. We heard titmice galore, and woodpeckers, and loud calling yellow-throated warblers who remained elusively out of sight. And in the waters we got glimpses of heron and gulls, high-flying tree swallows, and the hooded merganser above.
On the far shores of the creek we even spotted a perched bald eagle, and this eagle's nest.
But it was along the Loop Road that we stopped when we came to this sign, to look for the eagle's nest being monitored by volunteers, which we knew had young.
In another year or two the pines in the foreground may grow up high enough to block views of the nest, but it hasn't happened quite yet, and with our binoculars we were able to pick up the massive nest, and with the scope were even able to see a young eaglet in the nest.
One of the parents was perched, on guard, nearby, looking headless with its white head blending into the background of the sky, and a branch crossing in front of its face.
From Loop Road it was on to a fishing pier past the canoe and kayak launch site, where we were just about as amused by the antics of the fiddler crabs as we were by the sight and sound of the birds.
We saw ospreys and vultures soaring overhead, but also this immature eagle. One of the young from a prior year at this nesting site?
At times it seemed like the birds were hiding themselves from us pretty well, but in all we saw or heard 35 different species. And for those who attended the walk, if I've missed any let me know! But this is the list of the species for the day:
Little Blue Heron