Tuesday, April 7, 2015

From the Gulf to Wisconsin



A few days at the beach is just what was needed before heading north to cooler temps.  Many birds were lingering along the shoreline at Caravelle's Ho Hum RV Park such as this spring clad Laughing Gull.  We had many Marbled Godwits and Red Knots also molting into their finest.
Red Knot

Emerald Moth

Bald Eagle

Redhead Duck - head close up

Hooded Warbler (abundant)





















We spent 2 days at St. George Island State Park where an Oak/Pine/Palm Hammock drew in migrants from across the gulf.
Indigo Bunting

Louisiana Waterthrush

Prothonotary Warbler



St. George's Island is 9 miles of beautiful dunes and beaches where we will try birding during the peak migration some day.





We drove to the Florida Caverns State Park, beautiful Spring flowers lined the roadways such as this Yellow Pitcher Plant.
Yellow Pitcher Plant Flower

Soda Straw Stalactites  



The caverns were 8 rooms of beautiful formations with low tunnels to duck through to each room.

Wedding Cake and Organ formation

Red Admiral




Heading north we stayed at Wind Creek State Park in Alabama.  Camped on a beautiful lake and found many birds and other flora and fauna.
Martin Colony

Sweet Gum Flower and Seed Cluster

Northern Cricket Frog

Spider Egg Case

Question Mark Butterfly

Snapping Turtle



Gorgeous full moon over the water at Lake Murphyboro State Park in Tennessee.  Next morning as we drove early we saw the full lunar eclipse in the clear skies.



Onward, northward to Wisconsin; which we reached on Easter morning.  Birding familiar "haunts" again.

Until next time,  Love & Prayers,
Ida & Ty Baumann

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Nature Coast Wildlife Watching




Our first stop after leaving Port St. Lucie was St. Cloud and more great looks of the Florida specialty - the Snail Kite.








We also found an unusual Boat-tailed Grackle at the Lake Park.  The bird is leucistic showing a lot of white where it should be all black.





We had a picnic lunch with Neil Payne at his home southwest of Disney World.  Although he is from Wisconsin we have only visited him in Florida and Newfoundland.


We drove to Thonotosassa and stayed at River Palms RV Park.  So glad they had a pool as it was 90 degrees for the 2 days we were there.
Took a walk along the beach of Honeymoon Island then drove to Crystal River where we found a good number of birds including this Yellow-crowned Night-heron.


We then spent 2 nights at Manatee Springs State Park with the huge spring going into the Suwaunee River.  Vultures roosted each night at the mouth of the Spring.




Many Banded Water Snakes and this Common King Snake were along the Cypress trees that lined the boardwalk.
Black Swallowtail - female

Green Tree Frog

Manatee Springs

Eastern Glass Lizard


We then drove to St. Mark's National Wildlife Refuge on the "Nature Coast" on the Gulf of Mexico, located on the curve into Florida's Panhandle.  We stayed at Newport County Park driving everyday (4 days) 6 miles to the Lighthouse Point.  We found 126 species of birds but we both got just as many gnat bites from Punkies or No-see-ums.  Hope they heal up soon.
Alligators - grin and bear it.

Gray Ratsnake

On the beach we saw 1,000's of Fiddler Crabs




Black Skimmer







Ty spent many hours looking for the Pygmy Rattlesnake - this colorful, small but dangerous reptile was finally located the last day that we were there.

Softshell Turtle


Each day as the tide rose, the shorebirds moved off the Gulf of Mexico into this more secluded pond.  We observed over a dozen species before the thousands were flushed by an overhead Bald Eagle.
Little Metalmark

Saltmarsh Sparrow



Our next stay was at Ochlockonee River State Park, the pine forest here is managed for Red-cockaded Woodpeckers, Brown-headed nuthatches, and Bachman's Sparrows.  After locating these target birds we added a Saltmarsh Sparrow and the special White Squirrels.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker



It was also a bit of a walk down memory lane as it was in 1980 that we camped here with our sons Travis and Troy on our first trip to Florida.
Zebra Swallowtail

Unknown Golden Moth - help with I.D.?



We only have a few days left before heading north to Wisconsin, so we are going to the beach near Carrabelle.

Best to All,
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann
Sunrise at Ochlockonee River State Park

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Southwest Florida

Banded Tree Snail on Gumbo Limbo Tree

Traveling at a snail's pace waiting for the Arctic weather to break up north before heading to Wisconsin.
White-eyed Vireo sings for Spring

Barred Owl at Corkscrew Swamp

Cardinal Air Plant

Black-crowned Night-heron


We spent a week in Naples at Endless Summer RV Park.  We took a day trip to Corkscrew Swamp Audubon Center where we walked the Cypress lined boardwalks finding lots of great birds, plants, and insects and spiders.
Six-spotted Fishing Spider

Banyan Tree


Our next door neighbor decided we "needed" to see the largest Banyan Tree in Naples.  She took us in her car to see the sights.


There were Wisconsin people at the RV park including Don & Carol Drenne, Carol was in my Bible Study back in Green Bay.  Nice surprise.
Eastern Bluebird in Naples

Lesser Scaup in Punta Gorda




The next week we spent in Fort Myers staying at the Lazy J.  We spent 3 days this week visiting with Patti Hancock-Myers and her new husband Bud.  We enjoyed touring the city in his convertible and checking out their favorite eating spots and joined them for church on Wednesday night.
Newly hatched Sandhill Cranes

Millipede scooting across the road

We took a day trip to Punta Gorda and the Environmental Center there plus we drove through the Babcock/Webb Wildlife Management Area  Since it was getting late we drove back the next morning .
Bald Eagle soars overhead



On Ty's birthday, we drove back east across the state to Port St. Lucie.  We stopped at Water Management Area #5 south of Clewiston.  Best find was this Bobcat wandering down the dike - not paying any attentions to us.  We saw many water-loving birds including the Purple Swamphen.



We are now back at Ty's brother's staying in their driveway for 3 nights.  Picking up our mail, doing taxes, cleaning up the vehicle and laundry before heading northwest.
Southern Green Stink Bug

Our best to all,  Ty & Ida Baumann