It’s in the mid-50s today, and I’m getting started at 6:40 a.m. We’ve “sprung forward,” which means it’s only 5:40 a.m. by my body’s time, but I’m fully awake and ready to go out to see what I can see. The sky is still dark, and I see numerous STARS instead of a lone VENUS. I got to the Park Beach at 7:00 a.m., feeling a bit disoriented in the darkness. The only activity here is two dog walkers, one of whose dogs is barking at me. No birds.

Got to the Cedar Cove Rocks at 7:05 a.m. It would be too dark to write in my notebook if it weren’t for the Island Room lights. The sky has gotten a little brighter, and I can’t see the stars anymore, but VENUS is still up there: solitary, clear, and bright just as it always is. The eastern horizon is the rich dark red of pre-CIVIL TWILIGHT. Actually, I like this time of morning, but I’m sure I’ll be tired later since I’m making do with only about six hours of sleep last night. No bird activity at all as of 7:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

At 7:20 a.m. I’m at the Cedar Cove Townhouses. Civil Twilight is due to begin at 7:21 a.m., and the bird activity is just starting too. A single CORMORANT just flew by, and now I can see a flock of BLACK SKIMMERS. I might have just heard a LOON? All of a sudden I’m hearing a lot of bird sound. VENUS is still visible in the clear blue sky above the now dusty pink horizon. I’ve about decided I should keeping working away at posting these daily notes because they record the days of my life, or maybe just the parts of my days I want to remember….

Got to the Cedar Key Marina at 7:35 a.m. and saw a GREAT EGRET standing on the edge of the water over by what used to be called the Raw Bar and is now BRYAN’S BIG DECK. I heard a KINGFISHER just as I got here, but I didn’t see it. The water is dead calm inside the Marina. By 7:40 I was down at the far end standing on the Dock Street Bridge. I saw the KINGFISHER perched on the #3 Green Channel Marker. The water is calm near the bridge too, but it’s rippled out farther into the Gulf. From the Marina side of the bridge, I can now see TWO GREAT EGRETS, one down by the boat launch, the other closer to me. The one at this end has a SNOWY EGRET and THREE (!!!) TRICOLORED HERONS hanging around with it.

It’s 8:05 a.m. and time to head home, but it’s been a magnificent morning, and I’m glad I was up early enough to enjoy it.

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