Saturday, January 26, 2013

More Treasures from "The Treasure Coast"

We ended 2012 at  Port St. Lucie and began 2013 with walks almost daily nearby at "Wood Stork Trail" (trails name sake is at left - aka "old flint-head").

 For you birders - our bird list numbers were 488 for 2012,  609 for our journey list including 24 life birds.

Just so you know, we are not strictly "for the birds", we do note other critters.  This Dog-day Cicada (one of the annual cicadas) was singing in our RV Park and gave us a close up view,  possibly a snack for one of the nearby birds.
 We found this 5" slug (proving you can't always be looking up for birds) on the sidewalk almost underfoot.  (More possible bird food.)

 This large shrub is Dahoon and the locals call it Christmas Berry.  This abundant fruit supply is definitely a major food source for hundreds of Am. Robins and Yellow-rumped Warblers, plus Cedar Waxwings, Cardinals, and Blue Jays.

We took another trip west to the Allopattah Flats. A different habitat produces different birds.  For you non-birders, there are lots of cattle and of course the abundant Cattle Egrets feasting on insect life that the cattle disturb.

While observing a Crested Caracara, (pictured below) this majestic Bald Eagle flew in chasing the caracara off the perch and landed right above us.

Although smaller, the Caracara made off with the prize, a fresh road-kill.
The best treasure has been visits with family, Ty's brother Daryl and his wife Vicki.  We've had great times at church, home and working on projects together for New Hope Missions to Haiti.

A bird must have taken this picture.
Love & Prayers to all.
Ty & Ida Baumann

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Treasure Coast

 Port St. Lucie is part of "The Treasure Coast" and we're finding a treasure trove of good birds (like this Little Blue Heron) and wildlife.  On a historical note it is called the Treasure Coast because the Spanish Treasure Fleet laden with Golden Cob (coins) was lost in a hurricane in 1715.  Its recovery in 1961 gave international attention to this area.
The ocean waters still continue to yield other treasures like a recent Manatee rescue that we were a part of.  (Look for Ty helping in the picture to the right.)  We drove up to Ft. Peirce State Park for a day at the beach.  An injured 500+ pound female Manatee (possibly a victim of recent shark attack and ship collision) had been washed up on the beach.
 It took a "team" of Florida DNR, Whale Rescue, Manatee Rescue, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife to drag the animal up the beach out of the rising tide, plus keeping her shielded from the sun and wet.  Two hours later the wildlife ambulance arrived with a stretcher (pictured).  Many volunteers were needed to lift her unto the stretcher.
  A huge tractor with forks was brought in to transport the Manatee from the beach to the vehicle to be delivered to the wildlife rehabilitation center.

Later we saw a Loggerhead Sea Turtle, a Razorbill, Parasitic Jaeger and 4 Frigatebirds actively feeding out from the Ft. Pierce inlet.
We have been taking daily walks on the "Wood Stork Trail" a wetlands about a mile from our RV Park.  Some of the wildlife highlights include Great Egrets (pictured), Wood Storks, Fulvous Whistling Ducks, Anhingas, Alligators, Raccoons, Stinkpot & Cooter Turtles, and a tiny Ring-necked Snake.  Some of the 'snow birds' over wintering are hundreds of Yellow-rumped & Palm Warblers, with a few Pine, Yellow-throated, Prairie, Black & White Warblers, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Blue-headed Vireos, and Baltimore Oriole.

This last month we have spent great family time with Daryl (Ty's brother) and Vicki, joining them for church including great Christmas programs, Bible Studies and meals together.  We also have visited local parks and wildlife areas along Hutchinson's Island together.

For January 1st we took the "Polar Bear Plunge" (in the Lake Michigan tradition) in the solar heated pool of the RV Park.  No one else joined us as they say the pool is "too cold" at 75 degrees.

Happy New Year & God's Blessing
Ty & Ida Baumann