Birding and Hiking Season Begins at GTM Reserve

After a searing summer and months of heavy rainfall, it’s finally cool enough to go birding again. At sunrise, I arrived at one my favorite locations, GTM Reserve (official name Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida . Below are photos from the orange and yellow trails. Usually, the orange-trailContinue reading “Birding and Hiking Season Begins at GTM Reserve”

Obsessed with Spiders – From Fear to Fascination

I was sitting on the couch, enjoying a bowl of popcorn as I surfed YouTube. I came across a video about keeping Jumping Spiders as pets. “People do that?” Well, that video led to another and another and another. Before long I’d consumed innumerable videos on Jumping Spiders, which led to additional videos about otherContinue reading “Obsessed with Spiders – From Fear to Fascination”

Birding and the Xooter – The Paths Intersect

Scooter-birding at Big Talbot Island A couple of weeks ago, I took my Xooter scooter to the bicycle trail at Big Talbot Island (Jacksonville, FL). I parked at the trail’s mid-point lot and traveled south, a distance of roughly 2 miles (4 miles round-trip). I was eager to test my skills on this curving, meanderingContinue reading “Birding and the Xooter – The Paths Intersect”

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”

A Senior’s First Ride on the Xooter Mg

Yesterday, I headed back to Camp Milton, in Duval County (FL) to take my new Xooter-Mg for a test-run. The Xooter Mg is very portable and consumed only a small amount of trunk space in my Chevy Sonic. To keep it from sliding, I packed the sides with some old, clean towels. The first walkwaysContinue reading “A Senior’s First Ride on the Xooter Mg”

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”

Winter Peeps in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns County, FL

Peeps are the little birds that dart along a shoreline. They often intermingle and look similar. They vary in size, but often only slightly. When identifying these birds, I look at the legs first, then bill length. KEY:Very short bill = tiny and chick-likeShort bill = less than the length of the headMedium bill =Continue reading “Winter Peeps in Duval, Nassau, and St. Johns County, FL”

Birding in Cold Weather

When I began birding with Duval County Audubon Society (Florida), I expected an outing to be cancelled when the temperature fell below 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius). Instead, there was a large group eagerly anticipating the sighting of a rare bird – the Red-cockaded Woodpecker. When I saw photos of the group, I looked asContinue reading “Birding in Cold Weather”