Hello, all! We are back from Florida's Gold Coast!
I am still digging sand out of orifices I wasn't aware I had.
I fully expected to blog while we were down there, but the lap top was on vacation, too. I took it out of the suitcase and the monitor wouldn't light up. So it needs to go to the PC doctor.
Lots and lots of sand:
The girls fell in love with the ocean (which was right outside our hotel...I mean, we stepped out onto the patio, went down one step and there was the beach. It was awesome.)
Isabelle and Lorelei spent nearly every waking hour in the water. Lorelei wouldn't go out too far, staying near the surf...and every wave deposited another cupful of sand into her bathing suit. I spent quite a lot of time rinsing suits out. My Mom states that when we went to Florida, back when I was about 4, I was carrying so much sand in my little bikini it looked like I had baked potatoes hidden in there. I guess what goes around, comes around?
My first lifer of the trip....brown pelicans:
I knew they were big, but man oh man...they are really big!
They didn't seem to care that 20 or 30 people were out in the water....they would fall out of the sky diving for fish 10 feet from us.
Another lifer (and countable!) was a flock of birds noodling around in the palm trees right outside the hotel:
Monk parakeets! I kept hearing what sounded like our parakeet here at home, and was pleasantly surprised to see a slew of green birds swooping in and out of the trees. (Green birds are hard to come by here in Ohio) Monk parakeets are an introduced species (from escapes and numb-nuts letting them go) but they have established themselves in Florida and I am glad they did.
Another exotic species that has found a niche in Florida...a bird we know well here in the Williams' household:
Eurasian collared doves. They were easily as numerous as the rock pigeons down there. It was neat to see a wild bird just like our beloved Euro. Another countable lifer.
Effortless birding is always a treat. While stopping for lunch before hitting the Everglades, we came across common moorhens and their babies:
The little ones were adorable, running across the floating vegetation like chickens. Another lifer.
I have about a hundred photos to get through, so I will leave you with not only another effortless bird, but also another lifer:
A white ibis, just stalking around a yard....in a neighborhood.
At last count, I had 11 lifers. But something that was lacking was the simple, easy songbirds. There weren't little birds just hanging out in the trees. I'm used to seeing chickadees and blue jays and sparrows out and about, but where we were, just shorebirds/sea birds/weird exotic birds.