After I was done checking for tracks, picking up trash and looking for unusual signs - I checked in and made my way back. I noticed how much activities there was this morning on the beach with the low tide, so i started making notes and counting my species. I enjoy watching the willets and notice their personalities as I go by - other people might think that I've fallen off my rocker because I talk to the birds....oh well.
Sanderlings, sanderlings - everywhere I went - flying, eating while chasing the waves - or perhaps it was the waves chasing them.
Pelicans - resting in the Australian Pines - always makes me wonder how such a big bird can stay put on
such a small wimpy branches - then again, their size is deceiving since they really don't weigh much.
Here it is, ready to go in and dive for a meal....awesome!
Oh yes, the Ruddy Turnstones - this particular bird is special for me because it was the first bird that I
really paid attention to. It's a humbling moment to have to say that I've lived in S.W. Florida for 35+ years
and all along - went about my working life without paying much attention to the bird life. The retirement
honeymoon didn't last very long and soon I was looking for something to feed my spirit. First I found
volunteer work for the turtle patrol but - come October - it was over with....now, what do I do? So, I
ventured over to Ding Darling and started volunteering there - this was my 'initiation' in the birding world.
And, so, I started to pay attention to what I encountered.....looking, studying, making notes and coming
home, looking at my books to find what I had seen. That very first bird was the Ruddy Turnstone - how
interesting to find that it's name matched it's colors and actions! And I was hooked!
There hasn't been a boring day since then - more and more I encounter birds that are as
interesting as the last one I saw. Just like the Frigatebird - it has made me soar to heights
that were unknown to me and I am happily celebrating my very first year of birding and for that I am grateful.