It’s colder this morning: about 50 degrees at 6:15 a.m. On Mondays I have to empty the trash and recycling, so it took me longer than usual to get away. I think I finally left the condo at about 6:40 a.m., and because I also had to mail some letters, I decided to vary my route today. After the Post Office, I walked out 1st street to the Faraway beaches. I was just about to declare them empty, when I spotted some movement and saw 4 or 5 little PLOVERS. They didn’t look quite right for SEMI-PALMATED PLOVERS. They seemed to have lighter brown backs, with lighter brown on their upper chests, and a lighter black ring around their necks. Maybe it was the morning light? Or maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen them for a while? The other plovers they might have been are rarely seen in Cedar Key.

After some wandering around and seeing no birds, I finally got to the Park Beach at 7:45 a.m. I saw 5 SANDERLINGS first thing, then a WILLET, then 3 more SANDERLINGS. The little SANDERLINGS were feeding in small puddles on the wet part of the beach, and the WILLET was working a bigger, deeper puddle. NO HORSESHOE CRABS this morning. I wonder why?

Got to the Cedar Cove rocks at the end of the beach at 7:55 a.m. and didn’t see a SPOTTED SANDPIPER or a GREAT BLUE HERON. Got to the Cedar Cove Townhouses at 8:00 a.m. and saw BLACK SKIMMERS flying high way off to my right, but none over here this morning. All I can see on the beaches here are GULLS, GRACKLES, and a WILLET. I also hear a RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. I think I see 2 BALD EAGLES out on a distant sandbar feeding on something?

8:30 a.m. Shortly after I got back to the condo, Bob spotted a WOOD STORK feeding in the tidal in front of the floating dock that we look straight at out our back windows. We watched it for quite a while and got a good look at all its markings, movements, and feeding style. At some point a LITTLE BLUE HERON flew in, and they fed together without any conflict or competition. Then a GREAT EGRET flew in and same thing: no conflict, no competition. We watched all three for a while, until a couple trying to sneak up on them with a camera spooked them, and they all flew off. A short time later the WOOD STORK came back. So did the LITTLE BLUE HERON. I guess they like this particular pool?  They’re still there at 10:00 a.m.