It’s about 66 degrees at 6:00 a.m. Both VENUS and the WANING CRESCENT MOON are clear and visible this morning, and the MOON is getting closer to VENUS day by day. Got to the rocks at the Cedar Cove end of the Park Beach at 6:45 a.m. The GREAT BLUE HERON is standing in a shallow pool on the Cedar Cove sand spit. It’s stationary as usual, offering me a perfect profile, including the long head feather, which is blowing in the wind. There’s a single WILLET working the outermost edge of the sand spit. A SPOTTED SANDPIPER just flew in and has started working along the far side of the canal from me. I watched it preening, rocking, and feeding. Now it’s walking slowly along the edge of the water.

Got to the Cedar Cove Townhouses at 7:00 a.m. Saw numerous BLACK SKIMMERS flying around in various size flocks. Another WILLET just flew in, so now there’s one right in front of me and the other still over by the GREAT BLUE HERON. It’s humid, foggy, and breeezy this morning. The atmosphere feels very coastal….

I ran into Judy again, the kinesiologist from Indiana who wants to publish a book about the history of female athletes. It sounds interesting, and I’m trying to give her some moral support, which I remember needing myself back in the late 1970s….

Bob and I went to the unit of the Cedar Key Scrub out by the  Dollar Store for a picnic lunch and short walk. We got there at about 12:30. When I first got out of the car I heard a bird that sounded like an EASTERN MEADOWLARK. The Lower Suwannee checklist says they’re common all four seasons and nest on the Refuge, so it may well have been one. I also heard a song that sounded like a chipping sparrow, but the Lower Suwannee list says they’re uncommon. So I looked up the junco too, and they’re only occasional. So I got to thinking about PINE WARBLERS since we were surrounded by the tall pines that grow in the Florida Scrub. I discovered that the PINE WARBLER is common all four seasons in the Refuge and also nests there, plus Johnston’s book on Cedar Key says it’s a common breeding permanent resident, so I guess the high pitched trillers I heard around the parking lot and also out in the Scrub were PINE WARBLERS. We saw a MOCKINGBIRD hanging around the picnic area while we were having our picnic and heard CHICKADEES when we began walking in the Scrub. The managers of the Scrub have been running a disc around the sandy roads that provide foot access but make them almost impossible to navigate. Their explanation is that keeping these roads churned up makes them good fire breaks is, but I don’t think I’ll take Bob out there again. We may have seen a WILD TURKEY scoot across the churned up sand in the distance as we were struggling along wondering if we should turn around. It was quite a distance away from us, but we both thought “turkey” the minute we saw it. The Lower Suwannee checklist says the WILD TURKEY is uncommon all four seasons but that it nests on the Refuge, and Johnston says it’s a common permanent resident of Cedar Key and breeds on the mainland, so I think we definitely saw a WILD TURKEY.  I also heard a CATBIRD on our way out. We saw several YELLOW BUTTERFLIES and a small BROWN one with “eyes” on the undersides of its wings. I’m not sure I want to get into butterfly identification, but I do enjoy seeing them.

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