Are 1,000 Words Worth A Picture? Turkey Creek – June 22, 2014

It’s the first full day of astronomical Summer in the Northern Hemisphere! Happy Summer!

In my excitement to get out and about early this morning, I left my camera behind, which was a big bummer. We have had a couple of days in a row with some heavy thunderstorms and downpours in the area, and I was anxious to see how Turkey Creek and the adjacent canal were affected. Haste makes waste, as they say, right?

It turns out the creek was about a foot higher than I last saw it, but it had dropped lower than that before the rains came this week. So I don’t know the total difference right before and after. In any case, there was a bit of debris washed over the trails, and evidence the creek had run up on the banks here and there, but otherwise nothing too epic.

On the way to the canal by the Scrub Trail there was a total of 4 immature Coopers Hawks in a dead tree. This is the same general area I saw a pair of the same species last year. They must be recently fledged, and they were making short, noisy flights around the western side of the sanctuary all morning.

The other “main event” of the morning was an apparently newborn manatee in the creek with its mother. I first saw a couple of manatees grazing along the creek banks along McKinnon’s Way, but when I got to one overlook, there was a smallish adult manatee just laying in the water, with its (her) back sticking up. It took a breath every minute or so. Then, I saw a tiny nose poke up next to her, then a small, smooth gray back. It was soo cool (and NO CAMERA!). A man and a woman came along the path from the Canoe Deck, and told me they had seen her in the same spot yesterday before the big downpour, and she seemed “in distress” which they thought might be labor. WIth a newborn manatee in evidence, I’d say they were right. 

I watched the manatees for a bit, then made my way around the park, doing the boardwalks first, then the Sand Pine Trail before exiting.

I know I don’t generally like wall-of-text posts, so I’ll wrap this up with my species list for today, generally in order of first identification (♫ = voice only):

  • Fish Crow
  • Osprey
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Carolina Wren (♫)
  • White Ibis
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Coopers Hawk
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Blue Jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • Green Heron
  • Common Gallinule
  • Chimney Swift
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Tri-colored Heron
  • Northern Parula
  • Downy Woodpecker (♫)
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker (♫)
  • Black Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture

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