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Orlando Week 4

Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:06 am
by Imber Eye
That was an eventful week what with sport and birds. What with being knocked out of the World Cup, scraping over the line in the cricket and only a 2nd and 3rd place in the Grand Prix there is not much to shout about. But at least we were not France, humiliated in soccer and rugby. My birding was nothing special. I was stung by a wasp (?) on Friday lunch time on my left ankle. It was rather tender and swollen but I still was up early on Saturday morning. Even at 0630 it was very hot and humid. My first port of call was Split Oak Mitigation Park not too far from the airport and my second place was Lake Lizzie Nature Preserve. In both places my walk was short – ankle and heat and I wondered why I bothered as the majority of birds seen were by the car park. Both areas have mixed woods and scrub with water nearby. In fact everywhere around here has water nearby – it is just one large area of swamp and concrete. I did have to get my bird book out to name the Carolina Chickadee as well as confirming Barn Swallow and Blue Jay. My next stop was at Viera Wetlands. Viera is a new town being built between Rockledge and Melbourne. At exit 191 on Interstate 95 I headed inland past huge developments to the Waste Water works. At the back they have built a small oasis for treated water with levees that you can drive around on. At the end of the drive I picked up 2 adult Crested Caracara sitting in a tree but too far away for a decent photo. I then drove to Wickham Park as the blurb in the Great Florida Birding Trail East Section (my main guide which is at http://floridabirdingtrail.com ) mentioned Brown-headed Nuthatch. Well the park is massive and after a while I found the Park Ranger who informed me that bird life had never been the same since a fire burnt out 80% of the wild park 3 years ago. At this stage I was very hot and headed for the beach and parked at Canova Beach to relax for a few hours. Not far away was a colony of Least Terns feeding their young plus Royal Terns and a flock of Skimmers. Maybe the day was reasonable productive unlike Sunday when I spent most of the day in my room with my leg up as hobbling was my best speed. Species seen now stands at 83 though my hotel list has only gone up one with the addition of Red-shouldered Hawk. This is getting harder and next weekend is 4th of July and a weekend of invitations.