Way up high

Pelicans flying by.

Cormorant flying by.

I saw this red shoulder hawk sitting high up in a cypress tree. Took a couple of shots and then I kept going down the trail, thinking she was taking a break.

I got all the way across the pond and heard the hawk screaming. I looked over and saw the above. These are extremely cropped. Guess we’ll be having baby hawks soon. These were all taken at Possum Branch Preserve. It’s a small watershed area not too far from my house. It sits on a corner of one of the busiest intersections in the area. Except for the traffic noise, the trail is very quiet.

SkyWatch Friday

Celery Fields at the end of the day

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Yes, pied grebes are everywhere in central Florida.

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Sparrow watching me.

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Yellowlegs walking around in a pond. I don’t see these guys very often.

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Cattle egret flyby.

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I saw these ducks up ahead in the pond. When we got close, they all took off flying. I realized as they flew by that they were all northern shovelers. It’s not often we see them around.

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The sun had gone behind a dark cloud and we were heading towards the parking lot when I saw a red shoulder hawk fly by. I saw him land on a pole with another hawk and they started going at it for a few seconds. Not a good shot but at least we know there won’t be a shortage of hawks next year.

Our New Year’s day trip to Sarasota ended in a quick walk around the Celery Fields before hitting the highway to head back home. It was getting late and the sun had gone behind dark clouds before going down. I hadn’t been to the fields in over a year so I wanted to see if it had changed. It was a lot more overgrown in the ponds than I remembered. There wasn’t a lot of birds around and the few that were there were pretty skittish. We saw a lot of hawks on our walk and one bald eagle from very far away.

The Celery Fields used to be a celery farm many years ago and is now run by Sarasota county as a storm water collection zone. It’s right off the highway and easy to get to if you’re in the Sarasota area. It’s been known as a sandhill crane roosting area at certain times of the year, I think primarily in the fall. We did see a few of the cranes during our walk but they were far back in the ponds.

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