Gearing Up For What’s Next!

It’s been time to take a breath and a pause, here at Lonely Birder Central. I just completed the Freshwater Systems core module for the Florida Master Naturalist Program. Part of that course were group projects that we presented on our last day of class (“graduation day”). There were some really spectacular presentations; we have everything from Freshwater Systems Jeopardy to video productions.

The group I was a member of did a signage proposal for the Moccasin Island Tract/Lake Winder. Readers of this blog will remember that the Moccasin Island Tract is part of the River Lakes Conservation Area in Brevard County, and site of several Lonely Birder adventures!

Our project group: Brian Bowers, Jim Higham, Jolyn Rozzo, Lucy (not pictured), and me (also not pictured).
Working our way through the Oak Hammock Trail (this is one of the drier sections).

Our group’s presentation is embedded below. It’s a little rough around the edges, and it remains to be seen if the St. Johns River Water Management District wants to use anything we’d produce. The point of the project, of course, was not to necessarily have anything accepted or officially approved, but to get out and experience Florida’s freshwater systems (lakes, rivers, springs, swamps, and marshes) and work together.

I can’t link to everyone’s presentation, but the videos produced by Curtis Whitwam and Peggy McGrath were well done. They are meant to be used at nature or environmental education centers. They are concise and informative. It’s amazing what a little GoPro will do.

Allison Arteaga made a watercoloring book that anyone can download and put together of various freshwater wetland animals and plants. Allison is (among other things) the Lagoon Restoration Specialist at the Brevard Zoo. I’ll try to link to the files when she gets them uploaded and ready.

Now that the module is over, it’s time to both consider my next move in the FMNP, and of course, to get back to some regular birding! Migrants and spring/summer residents are already starting to move through the state. In fact, Swallow-tailed Kites and Great Crested Flycatchers have been reported as far north as Daytona Beach and Lake County.

I’m ready and excited for the Spring. I have trips to south Florida planned for this month, and we have the Florida Ornithological Society’s Spring Meeting in April. I also hope to make it out to Ft. De Soto in April and there’s the Global Big Day in May.

I hope to see you here in these virtual pages!

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