Spent an enjoyable day birding the woods on the south side of Lake Talquin this past Saturday. It certainly felt like winter...bird highlights included Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Dark-eyed Junco, Chipping Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, American Robins, Common Loon, Northern Flickers....we also saw well over twenty species of fungi, 100% unidentified! It's actually more fun to make up your own names anyway. Other non-avian highlights included a cool plant known as Indian Pipe. I have to be honest, I thought it was an orchid when we first found it along the Fort Braden trail but the missus corrected me when she saw the picture on the 'puter yesterday. It is actually a heterotrophic plant that is often mistaken for a fungus because it doesn't have any chlorophyll. It is a member of the blueberry family and gets its food by way of a three-way relationship between a fungus and another plant. The Indian Pipe basically gets its food from a fungus which is getting its food from a tree or plant. It's basically a parasite! Pretty cool.
Indian Pipe - Monotropa uniflora
Chinese Hat Stand!
Yesterday afternoon Julie and I met up with the teachers, kids and parents from the School ofn Arts and Sciences for a bird walk at St Marks NWR. There weren't many birds but we had a great time. Apart from throwing oyster shells at each other the highlight of the trip was watching an adult Bald Eagle through the scope. Soe of the kids got to take digiscope pictures with their cameras. One kid was only 6! She got a great picture as well. Corrupt 'em young I say!Speaking of kids, the missus is carrying one at the moment. We found out this morning, after our 20 week appointment, that we are having a baby girl. We are very excited! She is due in March.
Sunsets over Apalachee Bay