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My Life’s Birds: #43-46

December 12, 2007
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Great EgretJUNE 5, 1993 – to Tampa, FL – Driving through Florida is bound to be excellent for birds. We were on our way to Tampa, for some beaching and Busch Gardens (I was much too young to enjoy the brewery tour, not that those particular suds are terribly enjoyable…). The drive passes through the lush Florida countryside and the views out the window were of Great Blue Herons and Great Egrets standing still as sentinels in the ditches and medians of I-75.

Raptors are better down here too. Up to this point I had only noticed Red-tailed Hawks and the Vultures, but now they were joined by the occasional Red-shouldered Hawk, taking good advantage of the ready made concrete abattoir coursing southward. In many areas, the pine trees are bisected only by the highway. The birds passing across are visible only for those few seconds till they disappear behind the forest on the opposite side. Typically this was how we’d see the vultures passing overhead, but we were one time treated to the spectacular Swallow-tailed Kite as it crossed the threshold. What’s amazing is that this quick spot stood as my only sighting of this bird until I traveled to Costa Rica this past summer, where apparently the Kites are thick as anything around Monteverde. In any case, it’s a great bird and a lucky spot for such a young birder.

Rolling through Tampa and on to St. Pete we passed over Tampa Bay, where Double-crested Cormorants sat atop nearly every post, buoy or power pole on the water. We would stay in the area for a couple days before traveling further south towards Fort Meyers and its great birding locales.

In completely unrelated news, this is my 100th post! A personal milestone no doubt, as I really didn’t know how much I would enjoy this blogging thing. Turns out I like it, so get ready for 100 more, or not, you can always click on down the road…

photo from wikipedia

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