Sunday, 18 March 2012

Dry Tortugas, Here I Come...

... Lots of birds for every one. Sorry. The above doesn't work without the correct tune in your head.

This could be the most exciting trip of the year so far. I am stopped in a McDonald's parking lot, stealing their free Wi-Fi and getting a bite to eat. I have discovered that all McDonald's offer this alluring feature of Internet and food. I am enjoying the new Chicken McBites.

Yesterday I went back to the Orlando Wetlands and did not get as many birds as my first trip, and couldn't find a Green Heron, but did have an American Bittern fly right in front of me and land in the reeds, but it vanished in the rushes before I could get my camera focused. But it was bird 223. I also had a scary encounter with an alligator that was partially blocking he trail just before I saw the Bittern. I had to gingerly make my way around it as my heart skipped more than one or two beats. Not sure i even took a breath. Luckly i wasn't lunch.

Near the end of the trail I encountered two couples, one older and one younger than me, if anyone is keeping track, and noticed they were looking at the Bald Eagle I had seen flying overhead a little earlier. It was on a dead tree a couple of hundred yards away, or about 200 meters if anyone is counting. One couple didn't have binoculars, just a camera-it was the older couple-so I pulled out and set up my scope so we could all have a good look. Quite magnificent, it was.

The younger couple had just taken their first bird class that morning and were already one Green Heron up on me. With my luck I will find one in the Everglades while hunting for the American,(pink), Flamingo.

So off i go again, stuffed with a Big Mac meal, still 5 hours and a long night before I arrive in Key West and prepare for tomorrow and the Dry Tortugas. It begins with a 2 hour plus boat ride on The American Freedom II at Cat that travels at high speed. I have been on on going to Nova Scotia and expect to be sea sick, if just a little. Best to be ready.

And, to paraphrase Star Wars, May the Birds be with Me.

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