The Weather Channel says it was 47 degrees at 6:25 a.m., but the three thermometers on or near my balcony window say 58, 56, and 56 degrees. I’ve given up trying to determine what Cedar Key’s real and official temperature is. As of February 1, I’ll use only the thermometers on my back balcony and eventually choose which one works best for my purposes.

Got to the Cedar Cove Townhouses at 7:05 a.m. It’s a little foggy this morning, but VENUS and the WANING CRESCENT MOON were visible. The color is spread up and out this morning instead of resting on the horizon. Lots of gray, shades of red and pink, some pearly whites, and several contrails. Some of the BLACK SKIMMERS are resting on a submerged sand bar with their feet in the water. There’s a BROWN PELICAN with them. The tide is way out this morning (LOW TIDE was at 5:48 a.m.), so there’s lots of beach but not many birds for me to look at.

At 7:20 a.m. I was walking along the side the Cedar Key Marina and saw an OSPREY perched in a tall tree behind the big yellow house that belongs to Cedar Key’s most accomplished wood carver. When I got to Dock Street I saw and heard a bright red MALE CARDINAL perched on a wire calling “PEER, PEER, PEER.”  I heard another cardinal calling from a distance, plus several DOVES. then I heard another bird start chirping near my bright red singing male. When I looked for it, I spotted a FEMALE CARDINAL on a lower wire closer to the palms next to the Dock Street Bridge. I wonder if they’re nesting there, or maybe planning to? As I was walking across the Bridge at 7:30 a.m., I saw a SPOTTED SANDPIPER working the mud on the Island Place side.

At 11:40 a.m., Bob and I drove down to the Shell Mound parking area in the fog just to see what we could see. We saw a WILLET and a KILLDEER in close and a flock of WHITE PELICANS on the closest shell bar. The PELICANS were a pleasant surprise. There were shorebirds on the shell bar too, but they were too small and the fog was too think to see them clearly.

On our way up to the Lower Suwanee NWR, we saw a BALD EAGLE feeding on some dead animals: two WILD BOARS and a VULTURE.  The eagle flew off in front of us as we drove by, and we got a good look at it.

At 12:15 p.m. we got to the parking area for the new overlook near the south end of the Nature Drive. We heard a KINGFISHER from the boardwalk, and as we approached the overlook itself, we saw a GREAT BLUE HERON and GREAT EGRET standing in the water side by side. They must have seen or heard us coming because they flew down to the far end of the pond together and are now perched close to each other in small trees. We also saw two aquatic mammals swimming around and at first thought they might be beavers but then decided were OTTERS. We heard ROBINS and numerous peepy cheepy birds and saw a PHOEBE. We also saw and heard a HAWK high overhead to our left, then spotted a second one. Bob thinks they were RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS. The KINGFISHER rattled again as we left.