Flooding at Big Talbot Island

I glanced at the weather app over breakfast. The morning would be in the mid-70s (around 24 C), and no rain until eleven. Partly sunny. A perfect morning to go birding. I raced through my chores and then headed toward Big Talbot Island in Jacksonville, Florida. A cool breeze met me as I stepped outContinue reading “Flooding at Big Talbot Island”

Observing Small Species at GTM Reserve

The birds seemed unusually skittish. So I turned my attention to smaller creatures.

Skeeters, Rain, and Closed Bathrooms

GTM Reserve officially re-opens tomorrow (June 6, 2020), and visitors will once again pay a small fee to access the park. The web site says that the bathrooms at the park’s entrance will remain closed for renovations, but visitors can use the Port-o-let in the interim. Maybe. Last week it was gross. This week, IContinue reading “Skeeters, Rain, and Closed Bathrooms”

Birding on the GTM Red Trail

Yesterday was my day off, so instead of birding in the afternoon, I was able to get an early start. I arrived at the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve) just before sunrise. I wanted to traverse the Red Trail, which is the reserve’s longest at 5.8 miles. I had packedContinue reading “Birding on the GTM Red Trail”

Eighteen Miles on a Xooter Scooter

This week, I returned to Camp Milton, where I rode my Xooter scooter to the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail intersect, turned left, and headed west. But this day was different than the others. Changing the pushing-foot on my scooter came naturally – and switching feet regularly increased my endurance. I also carried a lightweight backpack, whichContinue reading “Eighteen Miles on a Xooter Scooter”

Birding on Dune Ridge Trail

Although I’ve visited Little Talbot Island State Park (Florida) several times, I’ve never walked the Dune Ridge Trail. So this week, I decided to investigate this four-mile loop. Driving into the park, there is a crosswalk. The trail starts here, and this is where most people begin their hike. Passing through the ranger’s booth, hikersContinue reading “Birding on Dune Ridge Trail”

Birding at GTM Research Reserve

Yesterday I went to Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM Research Reserve), which is one of my favorite birding spots. Since most people who visit here are nature-lovers, who simply want to relax in peace, it is usually quiet enough to practice birding by ear. The entry to the reserve is along A1A,Continue reading “Birding at GTM Research Reserve”

Fiddler Crabs

One of my favorite places to go birding is Spoonbill Pond at Big Talbot Island State Park (Jacksonville, FL). Over the past two weeks, the pond has had a greenish cast. Today there was algae along the bank, and the water level seemed low. Although I spotted forty species, there were few birds in theContinue reading “Fiddler Crabs”

Lost on the trail

Duval Audubon Society offers many outings to novice birders, and I soon found myself using their meet-ups to scope out parks and forests I’d never visited. I mainly wanted to know, was it safe? What if I went alone? But most places we went weren’t scary at all. Although a few were isolated, these wereContinue reading “Lost on the trail”